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East Lansing — Michigan State offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa has quit the football team, the Traverse City native confirmed on Tuesday.

Lukusa said he didn’t want it to become a big story but did say he has made the choice to leave the program. It certainly is a significant development for a Michigan State team that will be young along the offensive line in 2017. As a true freshman, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Lukusa appeared in eight games and was projected as a starter at right tackle.

Michigan State has not responded with request for comment on Lukusa’s status.

After playing his senior season of high school at DePaul Catholic in Wayne, N.J., Lukusa was an early enrollee last January and came to Michigan State as a four-star recruit who was rated among the country’s top offensive tackles by ESPN.com (No. 30), 247Sports.com (No. 39) and Rivals.com (No. 42).

Who might become the starter at right tackle will be a wide-open race. The sure starters at this point seem to be senior Brian Allen, who likely will play center, along with sophomore Tyler Higby at one guard and junior David Beedle at the other. Sophomore Cole Chewins likely will start at left tackle.

That leaves plenty gunning for the spot, including senior Dennis Finley, who has struggled to come back from a broken leg suffered in 2015. Several players who redshirted last season will have a shot, including A.J. Arcuri and Luke Campbell. Michigan State signed four offensive linemen last week in Kevin Jarvis, Matt Carrick, Jordan Reid and Mustafa Khaleefah.

matt.charboneau@detroitnews.com

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