You can’t have success at major division one power five football schools without a solid offensive line. The Spartans had one of their best in 2015 and it was anchored by a young man that many in the NFL think is the best LT in the draft.
Jack Conklin walked on at MSU, but that didn’t last long. He started for three seasons and played himself into a position to become a millionaire later this spring. Before Conklin can win respect from the NFL, he had to win it from his head coach Mark Dantonio.
He did. Dantonio had nothing but high praise for his gladiator ahead of this week’s NFL combine here in Indianapolis.
“Jack has had great success and we saw something in him as a young high school player that said that we should bring this guy in and basically sort of gray shirt him and put him on scholarship in January, which we did. As soon as we brought him in we knew we had something special. The guy started for us for three years and would have been a fourth-year starter and All-Big Ten. Very good athlete, big, 325 pounds and 6-6 or so, 6-5. But it’s his movement and his athletic ability and then also his intangibles, the toughness and the mindset and the intelligence he brings to the table. Has had great coaching from Mark Staten.”
But while the NFL is looking for a body guard for their star QB, Dantonio thinks Conklin’s legacy will last even longer at MSU. Every single walk on with a dream can look at the path Conklin took to millions and see the real possibility that they can follow him in the green and white.
Dantonio elaborated on Conklin’s road map being a strong testimony to young players, “Sure. I think when you’re having success everyone is an example for you. They look at someone and say, ‘I can be like that guy.”
You can watch the NFL combine all week on the NFL Network. The Spartans have seven players competing including Cook, Jack Conklin, Jack Allen, Lawrence Thomas, Shilique Calhoun, Aaron Burbridge and DT Joel Heath.
The Spartans will also hold their annual NFL pro day on March 16, at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building. That even is not open to the public, but Spartan Nation will have complete coverage.