Kurtis Drummond excited for action


By Joe Scalzo

scalzo@vindy.com

After having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder last summer, Kurtis Drummond knew he wouldn’t be able to tackle anyone on the field in his first season at Michigan State.

That didn’t keep him from tackling everything off it, though.

“I did everything the team did,” said Drummond, a Hubbard high graduate who is vying for MSU’s backup safety spot as a redshirt freshman safety this fall. “I was lifting with them, watching practice, going to meetings with them. And when they did things I couldn’t do, I worked on my footwork.

“With the teammates and coaching staff we have, it wasn’t frustrating. They allowed me to keep a level head and stay focused.”

Tonight, Drummond hopes to see his first collegiate action when the Spartans play host to Youngstown State.

“It’ll be fun,” said Drummond. “I’ve got a lot of friends on the team and I still communicate with them a lot.

“I’m more excited than nervous.”

Drummond (6-1, 196) said he originally injured his shoulder in high school. Although it was “tolerable to play with it,” he opted to have the surgery in August.

“It got to the point where it was just better to repair it,” he said.

He began running about a month later, then resumed lifting two months later. Although he was 100 percent physically by spring practice, he said it took a few days to get there mentally.

“The first time we were actually getting contact on it, I was a little tentative,” he said. “After a few days, I started playing and forgot about it.”

He said Michigan State runs a complicated defensive scheme — the Spartans’ defensive coordinator, Pat Narduzzi, hails from Ursuline and played for his father at Youngstown State — and he’s required to be equally strong in run support and pass coverage.

He said his time off might have helped him develop faster.

“I was able to learn the game, the defensive system and the offensive techniques,” said Drummond, who is majoring in hospitality business with hopes of eventually running a casino or hotel. “I think it made me a better player.”

Michigan State senior safety Trenton Robinson was among those impressed by Drummond’s growth in training camp, telling reporters on Monday, “[Kurtis] kind of blew me away with how he’s been performing this camp. He goes into the meeting rooms and pays attention, learns and then will go out on the practice field and do the things [his coach] told him.”

The Spartans enter the season ranked 17th and expect to contend for their second Big Ten title in three years.

Drummond just wants to be a part of it.

“We’re real focused,” he said. “Everyone has their eyes on the same goal.”

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