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East Lansing — Michigan State linebacker Jon Reschke announced on Friday that he is leaving the team and will seek to transfer for his final season of eligibility.

Arguably the top defensive player set to return for his senior year, Reschke released a statement that indicated he made an insensitive comment to a former teammate and the damage done was too much to allow him to remain on the team.

“Over a month ago, in an argument and a brief moment of anger, I lost control of my emotions and made an insensitive and totally regrettable comment involving a former teammate,” Reschke said. “In so doing, I have hurt and offended countless number of people, and for that, I am deeply sorry. If I could take my comment back, I would do so in a second.

“I have addressed my teammates and coaches and while many understand my actions were totally uncharacteristic of who I am, the hurt still lingers. Therefore, after discussions with coach (Mark) Dantonio and other members of the staff, we have mutually decided that I will complete my degree and seek the opportunity of a graduate transfer for my final year of football.”

A Michigan State spokesman confirmed Reschke is no longer part of the program.

In 24 career games, the Birmingham Brother Rice graduate had 101 tackles, including 6.5 for loss. He played in just two games last season before an ankle injury forced him to miss the rest of the season.

The news comes as Michigan State is set to open spring practice on Saturday in the wake of a sexual assault investigation that involves three players and staff member Curtis Blackwell, who has been suspended with pay.

The three players have not been identified as the Michigan State University Police continue to investigate and provide evidence at the request of the Ingham County Prosecutor. There is no timetable on when the prosecutor will decide on any charges, and in the meantime, the university is conducting a Title IX investigation while it has also hired an outside firm to “conduct a thorough and independent investigation into football program staff members’ compliance with university policy in connection with the allegations.”

Reschke came to Michigan State as a four-star recruit and redshirted his freshman season in 2013 as he battled injuries playing middle linebacker. He played eight games in 2014 and made the move to the outside in 2015, starting all 14 games on the strong side while collecting 75 tackles as the Spartans reached the College Football Playoffs.

Last season, he injured his ankle in Week 3 against Wisconsin and missed the rest of the season. He’ll likely be replaced by senior Chris Frey this season while sophomore Tyriq Thompson could see increased playing time.

There is no indication where Reschke might be looking to transfer.

“To the entire Spartan Nation, to all of my teammates past and present, to coach Dantonio and the entire coaching staff, to all the trainers, managers and administrators — I offer my sincere apology and I thank you for the greatest four years of my life,” Reschke said to conclude his statement. “I will always cherish the friendships, the memories and the journey. There is no doubt in my mind that the Spartan Dawgs will rise up and again return to being one of the strongest programs in college football. Forever Go Green, God Bless”

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/mattcharboneau

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