East Lansing – Michigan State won't release its depth chart for next week's season-opener against Western Michigan until Tuesday, but one name that will be on it is running back Delton Williams.
Coach Mark Dantonio confirmed that Thursday after the Spartans wrapped up the final practice of preseason camp.
Williams started camp a week late as part of his punishment dictated by the university's student judicial board following a road-rage incident on campus last March. In that incident, Williams flashed a gun at another motorist. Dantonio suspended Williams then but welcomed him back to the team on Aug. 14 without a scholarship.
At the start of camp, Dantonio would not say one way or another if Williams would be forced to sit any games once the season began. He dashed that possibility on Thursday.
"If you're bringing a guy back, everybody should get the opportunity to have reps," Dantonio said. "From my perspective, Delton went through all the – you know, he was five months away from this program. I'm talking about five months where he didn't step foot in this building. So he's on his own in terms of a scholarship, I think everybody understands that. He's paid an enormous price in terms of publicly to be here. It was his decision to come back. And when he came back and made that decision, on my part, I wanted to make sure he has an opportunity for success."
Whether Williams plays and how much that will be is going to be determined by his performance on the field.
Even with missed time, the junior is in the thick of the battle at running back. Dantonio said early this week redshirt freshman Madre London is No. 1, followed closely by sophomore Gerald Holmes and freshman LJ Scott.
However, he also noted Williams has the most experience of the group and is continuing to get back into football shape.
"He's missed a lot of football so he has to play himself back into those situations," Dantonio said. "But he's eligible to play and I think our university has handled the situation; it's been a group effort in terms of trying to make these decisions. So hopefully everybody's able to move on, and that's what I've tried to do. Part of that process is giving him an opportunity to get reps out here.
"It's for the good of our football team, as well -- not just on the field but from an intangible point of view that everybody has an opportunity here. So that's sort of how I've tried to deal with it."