Michigan State Offensive Lineman Thiyo Lukusa Quits Team

    Thiyo Lukusa was projected to start on Michigan State's offensive line in 2017 but instead has decided to leave the program, citing a lack of passion for playing football.

    February 7, 2017

    Thiyo Lukusa was projected to start on Michigan State’s offensive line in 2017 but instead has decided to leave the program, citing a lack of passion for playing football.


    Thiyo Lukusa earned a spot in Michigan State’s offensive line rotation as a true freshman last season, something that doesn’t happen often in coach Mark Dantonio’s program.

    Even that success wasn’t enough to keep Lukusa’s mind from drifting away from football.

    Despite being projected to start for the Spartans next season, Lukusa confirmed to the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday that he’s filed the paperwork to be released from his scholarship and will leave the program.

    “I had been thinking about not playing for a long time,” Lukusa told the Free Press. “I finally just decided that I’m gonna go through with it and kind of weather the storm, whatever it brings.”

    Lukusa played eight games as a true freshman after leaving his native Traverse City, Mich., to spend his senior year of high school in New Jersey. The constant demands of practice, games, offseason work and the stress of playing seemed to catch up to Lukusa, leading to his decision to leave the Michigan State program.

    Lukusa has enrolled at a community college in Traverse City.

    “I’m very grateful for opportunity they gave me at Michigan State and will forever cherish that chance,” Lukusa said. “I’m definitely not passionate enough about football right now to have my life revolve around it. I wasn’t happy. Football was a big portion of my life for a long time. And to give it up was hard to me.”

    Lukusa’s departure is a blow to the Michigan State offense. Dantonio praised Lukusa during last season and will now have to fill his spot as the Spartans seek better protection for a starting quarterback that’s yet to be determined.

    MORE: David Shaw Explains Stanford’s Selective, Honest Recruiting Process

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