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August 04, 2008

MSU's first day of practice

The first thing I saw when I entered MSU's indoor practice facility today on the way to the outdoor practice field? A huge guy in a No. 72 jersey jogging to join his teammates. My response: "Is that Jason Diehl?"

    Indeed, it was Diehl, the massive offensive lineman who was shelved in 2006 and 2007 because of a serious knee issue. He has had, among other procedures, a "bone graft surgery," which is similar to what former linebacker Seth Mitchell underwent. He's been considered doubtful to play at all, but he's had surprisingly swift progress of late and was out there doing many of the drills. Mark Dantonio said Diehl is good enough to give it a go, so stay tuned. If he can stay healthy, he's a promising prospect.
    Other things that jumped out to me today, as the guys went through drills in shorts and helmets: Greg Jones' arms (they seem to have doubled), Fred Smith's overall size, Keith Nichol's arm strength, and the fact that Brynden Trawick (who's also very big for a freshman) apparently is chilly up here. The Georgia native was sporting long sleeves. MSU's freshman linebackers also looked the part physically, especially Jamiihr Williams. He's big and fast.
     But remember, this is just the first day in shorts, with another on Tuesday, followed by shoulder pads on Wednesday and Thursday. Full pads finally arrive Friday. MSU's media day is Tuesday, so we'll have much more after the morning interview sessions.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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