If you were to look up the word linebacker in the Webster’s dictionary you would probably find the saying, “See any male Bullough from Michigan State.” Now that may be slight hyperbole, but it isn’t far off.
So when Mark Dantonio joined me for a Spartan Nation Exclusive one on one interview on Spartan Nation Radio (YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT IN IT’S ENTIRETY HERE) I offered no direct question about Bullough. He chose to praise his young star.
“There is always movement on the depth chart in spring. There is a lot of guys that you can talk about. I think Byron Bullough is having a great spring. He is one of the guys. I really think that Byron is having a tremendous spring. He is very square (sound technique) and he is all over the field. He knows what is going on and he is playing at a very high rate of speed. He is a great athlete, he has gotten bigger. He weighs between 225 and 230 now. I think he is going to be an outstanding football player for us. He is moving up the depth chart.”
I had heard rave reviews of Bullough who came in to the spring at #3 on the depth chart behind his brother Riley the starter and Shane Jones. Byron has not unseated his brother, but with Dantonio’s admission of his moving that clearly tells us that Byron has now moved up to being his brother’s back up.
I wrote yesterday about Riley and the Bullough’s Max and Byron. Here is what I wrote:
So how has that Max to Riley to Byron dynamic impacted Riley? “It is kind of hard to pin point how our relationships are. Just because it has been like that since we were born. We are all close. Max was always giving me pointers, and I try to do the same for Byron. I guess I got that from Max. It wasn’t many times that Max was asking me questions about middle linebacker, because he was there the whole time. I kind of moved around so I guess that dynamic is a little different. Me and Byron are kind of in this together I guess you would say.”
How does Riley view the growth of Byron as he enters year three on the roster? His brother sure is proud, “He is doing great so far. Byron is a really smart football player. I catch myself asking him questions all of the time about what he thinks. What are we supposed to do here? Things like that. He’s done good so far.”
Byron is a great player that deserves to play within his own ability and not his last name. What is lost with many fans when it comes to Byron is yes he is a great player, but more importantly he is a wonderful young man and a terrific student . While fans will celebrate another great Bullough linebacker, the family and friends of the family like me, will celebrate the person he is. Byron is an All American person and that is what makes him special. Remember that the last name is where a player starts. It is up to him where he goes. Byron is the young man every day wants their daughter to marry and father's want their sons to be like.
I can tell you that there isn’t one person inside the program or around the program that is surprised to see his progression. With Byron’s emergence it is a good sign that with Riley being a senior, the Spartans long line of a Bullough leading the linebackers will continue. Byron is his own man, at the family position.