Spartans Show Strength Off The Field

Since taking over the Michigan State football program Mark Dantonio has stressed the importance of his players earning their degrees. On Saturday, several more members of the Spartans football program participated in Fall Commencement.

For Mark Dantonio, Saturday provided another chance for his players to show the work they've done off the field by earning their degrees.

"This is really an end of ear for these guys," said Dantonio. "They came in with high expectations academically and athletically. They're now going into the next phase of their lives, and that's exciting because when you finish one phase, there's opportunity in the next phase as well.

"Todd Edwards, Elliott Daniels and Mandy Chandler do a great job with our players. It really shows that if you just endure and keep pushing through all of the tough times, you're going to come out on the back end as a graduate of Michigan State University."

Earning degrees from this year's team were Johnny Adams (sociology), Peter Badovinac (general management), Dan Conroy (communication), Steve Gardiner (packaging), Tyler Hoover (studio art), Chris McDonald (interdisciplinary studies in social science – human resources and society), Ethan Ruhland (human biology) and Mitchell White (interdisciplinary studies in social science – human resources and society).

Also earning degrees on Saturday were several former Spartans who saw their athletic careers end when they were declared medically disqualified. They were Zac Hueter (economics), Arthur Ray Jr. (communication) and Drew Stevens (criminal justice).

All players were on hand for a special recognition ceremony at the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Center on Friday and posed for the following group photo.

Since taking over the Spartans program Dantonio has continued work towards his pledge of supporting student-athletes in the classroom and on the field. Nearly 80 percent (72 of 91) of Dantonio's players who have completed their eligibility have earned their undergraduate degrees.

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