The First Few Days of Camp

The depth chart in the linebacking corps has surprised as well. Kaleb Thornhill remains the starter in the middle, but up-and-comers Jonathan Misch on the strong side and Eric Gordon on the weak side have secured the number-one spots at the other positions.

EAST LANSING - Michigan State football players have reported to camp and head coach Mark Dantonio is pleased with the look of his Spartans.

Early Monday morning, beginning at 6 a.m., Dantonio and staff rustled players out of their temporary dorm room homes and put them to the test, a running test to be exact. Passing the test—a series of half-gassers (50 yards and back)—is determined by position and although not every player passed the first time, those who failed ran it the next day and passed.

The team has practiced in shorts the first few days, will put on helmets in the next few days, and will be in full pads by the end of the week. RB's Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick and QB Brian Hoyer look to gel around an experienced offensive line as they iron out details and fine tune the offense.

But conspicuously absent were two players the Green and White were hoping to rely on in their retooled offense. Receivers Terry Love and T.J. Williams did not report. Love is clearing up academic issues and the team expects him to join them soon at camp. T.J. Williams' story is a little more complicated.

Because of what coaches are terming an internal disciplinary matter, Williams has been suspended from the team until camp breaks later in August. Coaches expect both players to respond to the challenges they face and be productive members of the offense.

The depth chart in the linebacking corps has surprised as well. Kaleb Thornhill remains the starter in the middle, but up-and-comers Jonathan Misch on the strong side and Eric Gordon on the weak side have secured the number-one spots at the other positions.

Although Gordon has leapfrogged SirDarean Adams on the depth chart, coaches have insisted that positions are up for grabs at camp.

"The competition is like I've never seen before at linebacker," linebacker coach Mike Tressel says.

Misch says he feels the pressure, but welcomes the challenge. "There is so much competition to the point that yesterday in practice I made a mistake and I came off the field and I was like, 'man I gotta get my head in gear, I don't want to lose this'," Misch said.

Michael Jordan, a late junior college commit expected to contribute immediately to the defensive line, received word that his academics are sound and will be allowed to enroll as a Spartan.

Finally, Chase Dumphord, a freshman lineman who left the team homesick, is still in Paris, Ky. Although coaches expected him to return to report for camp, Dumpford has remained at home. Dantonio says the door is open for Dumpford to return.

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