The Michigan State Spartans football team suffered a major loss today with the announcement that injuries have forced offensive tackle Skyler Burkland to retire from college football.
Burkland struggled with injuries his entire time as a Spartan, and they severely limited the high expectations that came with him out of high school.
Burkland, a one time four-star recruit out of Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio, was redshirted his first year in East Lansing. As a redshirt freshman, Burkland was named the starter at right tackle and showed great promise with good size and strength before he suffered a season ending ankle injury after starting the first three games of the season.
He missed the first two games of the 2012 season due to a hand injury suffered in the preseason but eventually stepped in as the starter for the last 11 games of the season after Fou Fonoti suffered a season ending foot injury himself.
Burkland was not a participant in this year’s spring game again due to injury so the news isn’t all that shocking.
This adds to the recent history of Spartan offensive linemen struggling with injuries each and every season in the Mark Dantonio era.
Possible candidates to step in and fill the spot of Burkland are redshirt freshman Jack Conklin, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle from Plainwell, Michigan. He was the first overall lineman selected in the Spartans’ Green and White game this past spring.
Other possible candidates are sophomore Donovan Clark, who saw action in six games last season, or possibly Jack Allen moving from guard to tackle.