Fonoti practicing, but might not play

Jack Conklin, Donavon Clark likely starting combination at tackles Friday. That and more notes on the offensive line.

When Michigan State opens the season Friday against Western Michigan, senior offensive tackle Fou Fonoti might not be in the starting lineup – but he is healthy and practicing fully.

"He practiced yesterday full go," offensive line coach Mark Staten said. "So we'll just see how it continues. He's good to go as far as I know. He told me yesterday he'd be good to go, so we'll prepare accordingly."

Head coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday that Fonoti can play, but didn't say he would. Dantonio did say that redshirt freshmen Jack Conklin and sophomore Donavon Clark will start.

Conklin, who was expected to start at left tackle, would shift to the right side in that grouping.

"That's the way it's been worked the last couple weeks," Staten said. "We know we've got a young man in Conklin who can play either side and do it very, very well. So if that were to happen, that's what will happen."

Staten said that the move of Conklin is due to Clark's being more in tune with playing on the left side.

"(Clark is) better suited to the left side, more comfortable there, been there for a longer amount of time, played both left guard and left tackle there for us," he said. "So we feel good about that."

Staten said Conklin has impressed with his steadiness and how he learns from his mistakes, and quickly adapts.

"He makes a rookie mistake and then won't make it again," Staten said. "That's a really nice thing about him. A lot of times when you're a younger player you make a rookie mistake and it comes back and it gets you again, maybe gets you a third time. Then finally you get it out of your system. But he's very attention-to-detail-oriented, he's a superb note taker and he puts it to work. So it's been very good."

France set to start at right guard

Senior Dan France has started at left tackle for the past two seasons, but has moved to right guard this season with the emergence of Conklin, as well as Clark.

"France is just a team guy," Staten said. "He's moved in there at the guard position, hasn't missed a beat. He is a very smart football player. Some different technique things, different things you need to be able to do there, from the tackle to the guard position. But I think guard suits him a little bit better. And I'm anxious to see him when the lights go on."

Kruse first off the bench at guard

Junior offensive guard Connor Kruse will be the third guard in Friday's opener, Staten said.

"Third guard in this game, Connor Kruse," Staten said. "He's done a great job, from Lowell, local young man and just been terrific for us. We've played him everywhere from left tackle to right tackle. And he's done a terrific job."

Staten also said Kruse has been taking snaps at center.

"He's been taking the majority of the two center snaps as well," he said. "We still get Kodi (Kieler) in there, we still get Fou in there, but he's been taking the majority of them."


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