INDIANAPOLIS -- Nearly two months after his mysterious suspension from the Rose Bowl by Michigan State, linebacker Max Bullough was in no mood Saturday to divulge details about his absence from the Spartans' 24-20 win over Stanford.
At least not publicly.
"I'm not talking about rumors," Bullough said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I've discussed it with the NFL teams. The NFL teams is a different discussion than sitting here at this media table. They're all aware of the situation, and in reality that's what's important -- the NFL teams. I'm just not discussing it, and I can only answer it so many times."
Michigan State announced Bullough's suspension under the common veil of "team rules violation." Bullough said NFL clubs have been understanding and have told him his draft status won't be affected.
"The NFL teams understand the situation," he said.
Perhaps Bullough's tough stance with the media came at the advice of his family, whom he said he frequently relies on for guidance. His grandfather, Hank, played at Michigan State and played several seasons with the Green Bay Packers in the 1950s. His father, Shane, and uncle Chuck played for the Spartans as well.
"Just having that experience, just like at Michigan State, the lineage, and having that pressure everyone calls it, to me it's an opportunity," Bullough said. "To me it's an advantage, it's people I can go to who understand my situation, understand what I'm going through, can give me advice. It's not only helpful, but it's useful, because it's relevant. It makes sense for what I'm going through."
Bullough made 76 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss last year for the Spartans but admitted he wasn't completely on top of his game. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock has projected Bullough as a fifth-round pick and also noticed his drop in production.
"I didn't see the ability to get to the hole and make a play like I did in prior years," Mayock said.