CHICAGO — Skyler Burkland’s future is still up on the air.
Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio said more on the junior offensive lineman’s situation will be determined next week while at the podium during Big Ten media days at the Chicago Hilton on Wednesday afternoon.
Reports earlier this summer speculated that Burkland would retire from football because of injuries. Dantonio said those reports were ‘premature’ in early June. Burkland is listed as the backup to Fou Fonoti at right tackle on MSU’s preseason depth chart heading into fall camp, which begins Aug. 3.
While Burkland’s future is uncertain, Dantonio likes the versatility he has on the offensive line with many players he can plug at multiple spots.
“Jack Allen can play center or guard, Blake (Treadwell) can play really center or guard but more guard,” Dantonio said. “You’ve got some guys like Dan France who can pop into tackle or guard. We’re gonna play the best five. (Jack) Conklin gives us another guy, Henry Conway has had really a great summer. He’s a guy that can’t be out of the process. Donavon Clark can play guard or tackle.
“We’ve got different people that we can move around an can play a lot of places. I think the main thing is getting those five guys on the same page and allowing the competition to take place and not naming our starters and letting it happen.”
Treadwell says the depth and versatility of the offensive line puts pressure on him and others to perform.
“There’s a lot of competition this year so if one guy is not doing his job coach (Mark) Staten won’t be hesitant to put that (other) guy in,” said Treadwell, who enters camp as the starter at left guard. “It puts pressure on our older guys to perform as well as the younger guys, so it’s really good overall. We have great depth and anybody can play any spot.”