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April 15, 2010

Ray on his way

It may not seem like much and it may never lead to the playing field. But the fact that Arthur Ray Jr. is running around in shorts is a daily source of satisfaction for those who have been with him since he had a cancerous tumor removed from his right leg in July of 2007.

    “When you come out and you watch Arthur and he’s doing all the drills in his shorts, off there by himself, just training by himself, you have to give him a tremendous amount of credit," Mark Dantonio said before Thursday's practice. "He’s running, he’s got full action with his legs right now. And that’s something, a year and a half ago, I didn’t know if that would ever be possible again. He’s been on crutches for two years plus.

    "So all you have to do, if you’re feeling a little sorry for yourself, all you have to do is look over there at Arthur Ray and see what he’s had to go through and the challenges he’s overcome, to make you feel a little bit better about your situation. Make you understand how special that young man is.”  

    A bone infection and more surgeries followed the initial tumor removal, and Ray still needed those crutches a few months ago, so the progress has been significant recently. Dantonio said they won't try to rush Ray into pads for the fall, but his goal is to be playing football next spring. Either way, he's a difference maker.

    Staying on the offensive line, some of you have asked about David Barrent, the celebrated freshman offensive lineman. He participating in spring ball after recovering from offseason back surgery, and here's what Dantonio had to say about him:

    “David Barrent’s been slowed because of his surgery in December, but he’s now to a point where he’ll actually go, this last third of spring (practice) he’ll go in team (drills). He’s got great feet, great balance and he’s extremely big (6-8, 312) as you know. He knows what to do. He’s a guy who needs to start taking the next steps but I think he has a tremendous future. And I think we will see that here the next five days.”

    In practice Thursday, the OL ones were: LT D.J. Young, LG Joel Foreman, C John Stipek, RG Chris McDonald, RT Jared McGaha. The twos were: LT John Deyo, LG Ethan Ruhland, C Nate Klatt, RG Antonio Jeremiah, RT J'Michael Deane.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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