Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/12/13
With the upcoming college football season less than three short weeks away, fans, players, coaches and students all over the country are rearing themselves for what’s sure to be another exciting year. But for some players, it’s just having the opportunity to get back out there on the playing field that has them all the more chomping at the bit for this season to begin. And for Michigan State senior offensive lineman Fou Fonoti, that’s exactly the case. The 6’4″, 298 lb Fonoti, who came to East Lansing in 2011 after playing two years of Junior College ball at Cerritos College in California, made his presence felt immediately on the football field upon arriving at Michigan State. After Skylar Burkland went down with a season ending knee injury at Notre Dame, Fonoti stepped up and started the last 11 games of the season, playing a key role in the Spartans’ 11-3 season. Fou Fonoti hopes to make his last season in green his best one. By the time the next season rolled around, things looked pretty prosperous for Fonoti and the rest of his Michigan State teammates. Fonoti had started each of the Spartans first two games, aiding Michigan State to a 2-0 start and top ten ranking in the country. Unfortunately though, the injury bug caught Fonoti by surprise. Days before the Notre Dame game, Fonoti broke his foot in practice and missed the remainder of the 2012 season. “I struggled,” Fonoti said of  what life was like after the injury. “It went from you going to playing with these guys to you feeling as if you are in invisible. You’re in meetings and there’s nothing for them to talk to you about because you’re not on the film. For me, I really struggled mentally because I didn’t know if I could still feel part of the team.” However, as we now enter into the next season, Fonoti, having been granted a 5th year of eligibility, returns the Spartans for his last season, but now see’s a silver lining to his injury. “My injury was definitely a blessing in disguise,” Fonoti said. “Travis Jackson once said to me, if you didn’t break your foot, you wouldn’t be here with us. When he said that, that just reassured me.” As for Jackson, the Spartan’s starting center, who suffered a season ending injury of his own last year, relishes in the fact that it’s certainly good to be back. “It was tough last year not being able to play with injuries and stuff,” Jackson said. “Now that we’re to the next season though, it’s such a positive thing to have Fou back, not just at the tackle position but also from a leadership position on the offensive line.” And with less than three weeks remaining until the Spartans suit up against Western Michigan on Friday, August 30th, Fonoti is feeling all sorts of excitement to get back out there on the playing field. “Words can’t explain,” Fonoti said. “Being able to put a helmet back on and wear that 51 again and being able to be beside my brothers. It’s definitely heart warming.” And with this being his last year, Fonoti is going to do his best this season to go out on top. “My goal is to give it all I got,” Fonoti said. “I definitely feel something special about this team. Our goal is to just play that hard-nosed Spartan football. That’s our mindset.”   Follow Ryan Squanda on Twitter

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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