MSU's Josiah Scott on returning to lineup The Detroit News
College Park, Md. — Earlier this week, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio figured cornerback Josiah Scott would get in for a handful of plays against Maryland.
It was the first time since the freshman All-American hurt his left knee early in preseason camp that he was ready to get in for some game action, and with so much downtime, the realistic assumption would be that Scott wouldn’t go a full game.
Well, so much for that.
With sophomore Tre Person out with an injury, Scott started and played virtually the entire game, getting a pass breakup in the first half of Michigan State’s 24-3 victory.
“I felt like I was very prepared from the start,” Scott said. “Last week I had a bunch of reps, and even before then working with the training staff and the strength and conditioning staff getting me in condition.”
It was no simple task for Scott, who had surgery to repair his meniscus the day after he suffered the injury. He was told he’d be out 2-3 months, but instead of feeling sorry for himself, Scott got to work.
“I feel like initially when they told me I’d be out 2-3 months it was kind of rough,” Scott said. “I have a great supporting cast at Michigan State and my family back at home, they really reached out and told me everything would be good.
“But it was very rewarding. You get football taken away from you, you don’t know how much you love it until it is. Once you get back on the field, you’re able to play with more emotion and able to give everything you have because you know not every single down is promised.”
Scott was ready to play last week against Purdue, but sat out the first half due to his suspension stemming from last season’s targeting call in the Holiday Bowl. He also sat out the second half.
Scott said he could have played last week, but the plan now is to see if the Spartans can hold him out of one more game and save a red-shirt season. With three regular-season games to go plus a bowl game, Scott would have to sit at least once more.
But if Michigan State has any shot at winning the Big Ten East, that plan could get scrapped.
“If things work out and we make a run for the Big Ten championship then I feel like we’ll take the redshirt off,” Scott said. “But if it’s staying like this I feel like we’ll keep the redshirt on and sit out another game.”
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Cody White returns
Scott wasn’t the only player back after a long absence on Saturday.
Sophomore Cody White broke his hand in the first half against Central Michigan. He missed the next four games before returning against Maryland and had two catches for 20 yards.
“It felt awesome just being back out there with my teammates, being able to play with them and just an amazing feeling to be back,” White said. “It’s been a struggle for me. This is my first long-term injury in a sport, so being out and not doing what I love to do is hard for me. But trying to keep (my teammates) motivated was the main thing for me.”
While Scott and White were back, it was back to the training room for senior running back LJ Scott. He missed four games this season with a bad ankle, but had played the last two games. However, Scott did not make the trip to Maryland.
Also not playing were Person, guard David Beedle, wide receiver Laress Nelson and cornerback Josh Butler. Sophomore center Matt Allen also missed his second straight game.
Sophomore guard Kevin Jarvis was back after missing last week’s game. He played against Michigan two weeks ago after sitting the two previous games with an ankle injury. Red-shirt freshman receiver C.J. Hayes was also back after missing the last two games and sophomore tackle Jordan Reid started after missing the final two series last week.
Freshmen see first action
Michigan State had two more true freshmen play for the first time on Saturday. Defensive back Davion Williams played twice on the punt team while running back Elijah Collins also got one snap on the punt team.
The Spartans have now had eight true freshmen play this season, including safety Xavier Henderson, who has played in all nine games. Running back La’Darius Jefferson has played in eight and wide receiver Jalen Nailor has played in six. Tight end Trenton Gillison has played in two games, including today, and defensive tackle Jacob Slade and cornerback Kalon Gervin have played in one game each.
Linebacker Jeslord Boateng and defensive tackle Deshaun Mallory both traveled for the first time Saturday but did not play.