Michigan State OT Skyler Burkland announces retirement


Michigan State junior OT Skyler Burkland, who started 11 games at right tackle last season, is giving up football because of his injury history.

Burkland (6-foot-7, 315 pounds) missed one game last season with a hand injury and missed 10 games in 2011 with a fractured left ankle.

He has applied for a medical hardship, which, if granted, would enable him to remain on scholarship but not count against the NCAA-mandated 85-scholarship limit.

"We'll certainly miss him on the football field, but he'll remain heavily involved in our program and continue to work on earning his degree," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said in a news release from the school.

Burkland is a criminal justice major who attended the sublimely named Big Walnut High in Sunbury, Ohio.

Michigan State's offensive line will be a concern when camp opens Saturday. Senior Fou Fonoti missed 12 games last season with a broken foot -- he started at right tackle in 2011 and at the same position early last season before being injured. He seemed likely to move to left tackle this fall. Instead, he'll probably stay on the right side with Dan France again starting at left tackle. France had been moved to guard during the spring.

Redshirt freshman Jack Conklin, sophomore Donavon Clark and junior Michael Dennis also could figure in the mix at tackle.

Junior C Travis Jackson started five games last season before suffering a broken leg. His return should provide a boost. If France remains at tackle, the two starting guards will be Jack Allen and Blake Treadwell.

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