Duffy Daugherty Football Building

East Lansing, MI

The worst kept secret for Spartan Football over the off season was that Tyler O’Connor was the starting QB and that he, Riley Bullough, and Demetrious Cox were great leaders on the road to being captains.

Star MLB Riley Bullough talked about the leadership team of this year’s captains. “They have been leaders for a while now around here. I think people around the team recognize that and notice that. That is what you see today. They feel like us three can represent the team well and I feel the same way. It is an exciting time. Finally voted a captain, I have been here, this is my fifth year. To be at this point and be voted captain is awesome.”

Is the fact that he wasn’t named captain for the first four years, but did make it in year five a sweeter experience for Bullough? “It really does. Last year I feel like we had great captains. They did a great job and it wasn’t my turn yet. I feel like I have waited my turn and here we are.”

For Riley being named a captain at MSU is a big deal and he understands the added expectations of filling that role. “It is never easy. Being a leader, there is always tough things that are going to come your way. You learn to deal with those things and get kind of used to doing it. Being a leader, to me, is just kind of my personality. It does come natural but it is not always easy.”

Riley proved his leadership ability. He didn’t need the title of captain to lead. He admitted that even last year he played and led like a captain despite not getting the votes. “Last year being a starter for the first time, I was striving to be a captain. Last year it wasn’t meant to be because we had some great seniors, but I have waited my turn and here we are.”

The great thing about Riley is that while full of the passion that has been legendary with the Spartan program for 60 years, he is also a deep thinker. While happy to lead his team, he knows the countless hours of unseen work by the fans to get here. “It is a lot of hard work to get here. Nothing here comes easy. I feel like I have put in a lot of work to get to where I am at now and to see that pay off by being voted a captain is really special to me.”

I asked him about this team. As the first game is now visible on the horizon, where does he think the team is? “I am definitely excited. I feel like this team, we are an enthusiastic bunch and that is exciting. It is fun to come out here and practice. It is going to be exciting going out to play next week. We are an intense group and we are a fun group and that is what you want. You want that good chemistry so that is where we are at.”

So what does being a captain mean to him? “It is awesome. To be voted captain by my teammates, the guys that I am out here practicing every day with, working out with, just being with them really 24/7. For them to elect me out of all of the special guys we have on this team, that means a lot.”

When you come from a football dynasty like Riley Bullough has, I have said many times it isn’t fair. The name on the back of the jersey stands so tall and looms so large that many just expect greatness to happen. That isn’t fair, because lost in the success of Riley is an air of expectation. One thing this family has done is an amazing job of instilling work ethic. The Bullough family is not entitled to being captains and starters, it is the fact that they continue to be is a testament to their character. Riley is proud to be a Bullough, but he deserves to be judged on his own. He is not only a great player, but a better young man.