No player in Michigan State history has started 50 games in his career, but that is set to change Saturday.
”It makes me realize how long I’ve been here,” Rush said. “It’s definitely an accomplishment and a blessing in itself. It’s been an amazing time, so it’s a pretty cool accomplishment.”
Rush tied former offensive guard Joel Foreman and linebacker Eric Gordon with his 49th start last weekend coming against Ohio State. He has played in all 50 career games, but did not start last season at Iowa.
“That’s impressive really,” defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. “It’s an impressive stat for a guy that like.
”Not only when you talk about that, the guy never missed a day of practice. Forget the starts, it’s impressive he has practiced every day.”
The senior said it was never really on his mind that he could set this record when he arrived at Michigan State in the fall of 2010. He had hopes of playing early in his career, but was redshirted initially.
”That next spring, I just kinda pushed myself and made sure I got better and better,” he said. “I had (Tyler) Hoover and (Will) Gholston in front of me, so that was kind of a big challenge ahead of me.
”Things just worked out. I had a good camp and I think one of them got injured. I was able to step in and keep my role.”
Rush made his first career start in the season opener of his redshirt freshman season, recording four tackles and a half-tackle for loss against Youngstown State. He went on to start 31 consecutive games before breaking the streak last year at Iowa.
The record, he said, is a tribute to a few different accomplishments.
“It’s being able to stay healthy and consistent at the same time,” he said. “It was about working hard to keep my spot and making sure that what I’m doing is what the coaches ask of me as long as I keep pushing myself and getting better each day.”
Rush’s fellow starting defensive end Shilique Calhoun said the record is special for Rush to set.
”He is talented and he is a special guy to have on the squad for the simple fact that he is about set that record,” Calhoun said.