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April 24, 2012

Coming up

The MSU spring game on Saturday at Spartan Stadium (1:06 p.m., Big Ten Network, WJIM 1240-AM, free admission), with the gates opening at 11:30 a.m. Prior to the game, MSU coaches will put on a free youth clinic for ages 8-12 on the practice field across Shaw Lane -- though no autograph session this year because kickoff was moved up a half hour. Don't forget the restriction on bags and the alcohol ban on campus, both will be in effect. Fans 12 and older also can purchase press box seats for $50 apiece until noon Friday at msuspartans.com, with proceeds going to the George Webster Scholarship Fund. Here's Denny Schwarze's look at a surging young linebacker I'll be interested to watch Saturday.

        * MSU's final open practice of the spring this afternoon, with Mark Dantonio addressing media before practice, then MSU's annual spring game draft on Wednesday afternoon --where something interesting always happens.

    * The Olympics in London (July 27-Aug.12), where DeWitt gymnast Jordyn Wieber likely will pursue what I think could be the biggest sports story in mid-Michigan history. Former MSU and Williamston wrestler Nick Simmons just missed being there as well. Chris Solari took a look at Simmons' journey to contention.

    * The NFL draft, where Kirk Cousins headlines a deep group of MSU hopefuls. Brian Calloway looks at Keith Nichol's push to make it and willingness to play anywhere.

    * An Okemos-Holt lacrosse game at 7 tonight at Okemos High in which the Chieftains will be playing for Paige Duren -- who continues on her way to obliterating brain cancer -- and in honor of the longtime leukemia battle of former team manager Colin Donaldson. All proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

    * The Duffy Daugherty Memorial Award ceremony, Thursday at Eagle Eye Golf Club in Bath. Longtime Georgia coach Vince Dooley is this year's winner. Tickets are still available at $50 apiece and $400 for a table of eight (call 517-853-0670, email at duffydaughertyaward@gmail.com or send a check payable to the Duffy Daugherty Award Committee, 321 West Lake Lansing Road, East Lansing, MI 48823). Doors open at 5:30 p.m., program starts at 7 and the recently passed Francie Daugherty will be honored -- more on her tomorrow.

    * Big Ten football. MSU is the last team to have a spring game and BTN's Gerry DiNardo said MSU looks like the best team in the league after his spring campus visits. BTN's Lisa Byington, who will do the sidelines Saturday at Spartan Stadium, recently spent some time with one of MSU's newest adversaries in Columbus. See, he's not so bad.

    * A lot more John L. Smith talk. I'm impressed Adam remembers that shove -- from nearly nine years ago. Sometimes it seems more like 29. ESPN's Gene W. offers some pointed words on the whole thing. Gregg Doyel, too.



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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter

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