Heading to Spartans Stadium one last time

For the Michigan State senior football players, its a game they probably wish they could put off. After another sub par season, with potential left unrealized, sixteen seniors will go the field for the final time.

EAST LANSING - For the Michigan State senior football players, its a game they probably wish they could put off. After another sub par season, with potential left unrealized, sixteen seniors will go the field for the final time.

Standout quarterback Drew Stanton, who came into the season as a darkhorse Heisman and Davey O'Brian trophy candidate, has seen his NFL stock plummet with several less than stellar performances.

He reflected on the realization that he will never against suit up in the Green-and-White home Spartans uniform.

``This is my last week to go in and play in Spartan Stadium. It's almost surreal," admitted the signal caller. ``I don't really know what's going to happen. It's hard to prepare for. There are a lot of emotions because so many different people have been in my life and have affected my life here."

One bitter pill for the former Farmington Hills Harrison standout is never having led Michigan State to a win over crosstown rival Michigan. He came closest last season when kicker John Goss missed three field goals to rob State of the upset.

Stanton said being part of the MSU team will be what he misses most. ``I think just working with the guys I work with, the quarterbacks, and the quarterback coaches. I've been fortunate enough to have two amazing coaches here and they really helped prepare me for whatever I'm going to do in life, not even just football."

For senior David Herron, who came to MSU as a fullback, but blossomed into a Butkus Award watch list linebacker, wouldn't be surprised if the emotion takes over.

``Take a second, wow, this is the last time. It's going to be the last time I step on this field to play ball. I don't know if I'm going to be emotional. But it's finally here. It's finally over to be playing in Spartan Stadium.

Herron, Jr. says he hasn't given up on his goals of a winning season and a bowl game.

``We want to send our seniors out as winners. It's one of our goals every year, and to get to a bowl game. We have two games left and need both of them to get to a bowl. So that's one of our goals now."

Senior defensive tackle Cliff Ryan says despite the adversity he's experienced at Michigan State, he's learned some life lessons.

``Hopefully we can be remembered as a group that fights and never gave up, a group that went through a lot of adversity but tried their best to make the most out of it."

``We want to keep on fighting through these two weeks. A couple bumps here and there, but that's part of life. You have your ups and downs and you just have to keep on fighting."

Ryan says he has formed some lifelong bonds with his teammates and he wants to try to soak up every minute of the Spartan Stadium atmosphere on Saturday.

``These last weeks I'm just trying to enjoy every minute of it, enjoy being around these guys that I've known for the past four or five years of my life, and enjoy this coaching staff I've shared four years with."

Ryan summed up his emotions this way, ``Just enjoy every moment of it because who knows what I'll be doing this time next year. I just want to enjoy it and make the most out of it. "


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