Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was forced to do some shuffling to his offensive line after starting right guard Connor Kruse suffered an undisclosed injury in Friday’s scrimmage.
Dantonio said that the injury is “not season ending” and Kruse, a 6-foot-5, 325-pound senior, is expected back at some point this season.
With Kruse out, per Mlive.com, Dantonio moved junior Donavon Clark from right tackle inside to right guard. Additionally, redshirt sophomore Kodi Kieler will make the move to right tackle and junior Brandon Clemons will switch from defensive tackle to guard to provide depth.
Kieler primarily saw action on special teams for the Spartans last year and will likely join Clark (right guard), junior Jack Allen (center), senior Travis Jackson (left guard) and redshirt sophomore Jack Conklin (left tackle) on the team’s first-team offensive line.
“We’re very comfortable, Kodi Kieler is one of the guys I looked at in the spring,” Dantonio said. “He had an outstanding spring. He’s a very athletic big guy, he’s tough, and he knows what to do.”
The injury is a tough blow for Kruse, who played his first two years as a walk-on before earning a scholarship prior to the 2012 season. He saw time at all five line positions as a rotational player in 2013, but was entering his first season as a full-time starter. For his career, he’s played in 28 total games.
Coming off a Big Ten title and a win in the Rose Bowl, the Spartans’ season will open up at home against Jacksonville State on August 29. In week two, the Spartans, who were ranked No. 8 in the recent preseason AP poll, will travel across the country to face No. 3 Oregon.
For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.
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