Michigan State CB Tyson Smith likely done playing football

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — The beginning of Michigan State’s 2018 season on Thursday signified the end for at least one Spartan.

Senior cornerback Tyson Smith will not play because of health issues and is likely done playing football.

Tyson Smith returns an interceptions for a touchdown in the win over Bowling Green last season.

“Tyson Smith is taking a medical right now,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “He’s had some other problems health-wise, but at this point in time it’s in his best interest to not play football. He’ll be out here like we’ve done with all of our other (injured) players and have some kind of role in the program, keep him involved.”

Smith, from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, appeared in 28 games in three seasons, starting six. He returned to the field last season after suffering a stroke in November 2016. He returned an interception for a touchdown in a victory over Bowling Green, highlighting his comeback.

“The feeling when I stepped on the field, it was more than football, it was a blessing,” Smith said after the Bowling Green game. “I’m still me and I felt normal, but I didn’t know for sure if I was normal. It’s just a blessing.”

Smith was nominated last season for the Orange Bowl Courage Award, which honors players in college football who show great courage in the face of adversity.

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“He’s a guy that worked hard to get back last year,” Dantonio said. “It’s tough when guys lose dreams a little bit but he’s played for us, started for us, he’s a guy that has been on the field and has that to carry him through his life. He’s had a great experience in that area, so he’ll move on to other areas in his life. He wants to coach so he’ll learn things from top to bottom.”

Smith later confirmed the decision not play with a post on Twitter.

“Last year was beyond a blessing to me and my family both on and off the field, but for some odd reason I knew it would be my last time strapping up and stepping on the field with my dawgs,” Smith wrote. “I have had big dreams of playing on TV since a 6 year old and though my time as a CB at MSU has been more than great to me, it is not meant for me to continue playing football. Due to health issues I will not be able to continue playing as I would like.

“I have had many ups and downs here in East Lansing that helps prepare me for life after football and life after school. I would like to thank Coach Mark Dantonio for everything him and his staff have done for me and giving me a chance to attend a major college and also play football and also for keeping me around as my role changes. … I would also like to thank every doctor, trainer and any one that helped throughout this rough time. … To everything there is a reason and a time to every purpose under heaven. … East Lansing and Spartan Nation … I thank you for everything. … Go Green!”