Indianapolis – While Montez Sweat was busy wowing NFL executives with his record time on the 40-yard dash on Sunday, he was also spending some time explaining the start of his college career that included being dismissed at Michigan State in the spring of 2016.
A three-star recruit out of Stone Mountain, Ga., Sweat was suspended for a violation of team rules by coach Mark Dantonio just two games into Michigan State’s 2015 season, one that included a Big Ten championship and a trip to the College Football Playoff.
As spring drills commenced a few months later, Dantonio said Sweat was “in limbo” before it was announced a few days later that Sweat and defensive tackle Craig Evans had left the program.
“My time at Michigan State, I was definitely just, I started off kind of young and immature,” Sweat said on Saturday. “Obviously, I was dismissed but I’ve grown from that so much. I just want to keep on building on that and show teams I’ve matured a lot.
“Coming into college I was young, 17 years old. Every year I’ve matured and obviously when I got dismissed it was a big blow. It just helped me a lot to grow up.”
After a year at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi, Sweat ended up at Mississippi State, where he recorded 10.5 sacks in 2017 and 12 in 2018. That performance has him pegged as a first-round pick, likely in the top half of the first round.
Sweat didn’t delve into details of why he was dismissed at Michigan State. In February 2018, Evans was interviewed by WKAR in East Lansing and made things clear.
“It was all on me and my boy Tez,” Evans said. “You can call Tez and he’ll tell you the same thing. Us leaving Michigan State was on us. We forced Coach D’s hands. He told us, ‘Once you put me in a situation to where it’s out of my hands, I can’t do nothing for you anymore. I’m going to go to war for you as long as I can.’ Me and Tez, we fell short end on the weed situation.”
Sweat said while he wasn’t discussing his dismissal with the media, he is being open with NFL teams. He is projected as a top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.
“It was just personal reasons,” Sweat said. “I tell them everything, I tell them all the details and that’s just something I’m keeping personal with all the teams.”