Michigan State: Riley Bullough Named Starter, Damion Terry Next?

By Connor Muldowney
Michigan State Spartans
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s one thing to start at running back for a top Big Ten football program as a redshirt freshman, but to do it with little-to-no experience at the position is quite impressive.

Michigan State has named Riley Bullough the starting running back for the start of the 2013 season just about two months after the spring game saw the powerful runner pick up 48 yards on 11 carries. Head coach Mark Dantonio believes in this kid, and why wouldn’t he? Bullough comes from a family of athletes, and his brother, linebacker Max Bullough, has been there for him every step of the way.

Max may be the guy who got him into football and taught him everything he knows, but it’s the skill that he was blessed with that is allowing him to transition so efficiently into the team’s running attack.

With Riley Bullough being the first starting freshman running back since Larry Caper did it in 20o9, it will be interesting to see how his downhill, aggressive running style translates into production.

If Dantonio is willing to start a redshirt freshman and former linebacker at running back, he must not care about experience, opting instead for talent and the best chance to win games. This brings us to our next point– if he’s willing to take a chance on Bullough as the best chance to succeed at running back, will he take a chance on talented true freshman Damion Terry to start at quarterback?

Dantonio was quoted recently saying that the best quarterback will play, regardless of experience.

He told the Detroit News:

“We’re gonna play the best player. Whether you’re a senior, whether you’re a redshirt freshman, whether you’re a true freshman or whether you’re a walk-on you’re gonna have equal opportunity. If you’re the better player, you will play.”

What does this mean for the Spartans’ future? Well, the program looks to have a bright one, especially if these guys start and stay all four years. It’s not often you see a tandem stay together that long, but when they do, they seem to be extremely successful.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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