Fowler finds fun in football again

Senior wide receiver bounces back from early season benching to have a big season

When Michigan State graduated prolific wide receivers B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin following the 2011 season, Bennie Fowler became the face of the wideouts in East Lansing.

Unfortunately for Fowler, that left him as the poster child for a group that struggled in 2012.

With the same group of players to open 2013, the same questions remained after a lackluster season-opening win against Western Michigan.

Fowler again stood as the poster child for the wide receivers and he was dropped on the depth chart after having three drops against the Broncos. With the benching came a conversation with Mark Dantonio, and that talk set the tone for the rest of Fowler's season.

"He was like, stop thinking, you're not enjoying the game out there," Fowler said. "Just go out and have fun like you always do and that's when I took off."

The senior said that was all he needed to hear and took the time to think about it and realize he already knew what to do, but just had to make it happen.

"I was uptight and worrying about this and that," he said. "I just went out there and relaxed and enjoyed it."

He did just that, having a stretch with a touchdown in five of six games and becoming a go-to target for Connor Cook.

Fowler said he knew the offense could develop a rhythm and saw it started with the Youngstown State game, in which Fowler hauled in his first touchdown of the season.

"It's been great (making plays)," he said. "The fact that we're on a team going back to the Rose Bowl even means that much more. Being on a Big Ten championship team making those plays means that much more.

"Making those plays when you're losing, it doesn't mean as much."

And with the team back to its winning ways and with wide receivers making plays, the season has been a lot more fun for the face of the group.

"When you're losing games every other week or you're losing back-to-back games, it's horrible," he said. "Winning is everything in this world and to everybody and the more you win the more fun you have."

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