Tyriq Thompson | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Football

Tyriq Thompson | Spartans All-Access | Michigan State Football

(traffic hums) (calm music) – I know one speech that
definitely stood out to me was Shilique Calhoun. He was the guy that kinda
took me under his wing, kinda took a liking to me from the jump, and it was mutual respect for each other. But his speech stood out to me because he brought it all together
as far as, you know, Coach D talks about
“completing your circles”, and he went from when he was a redshirt freshman on the scout team to him being a All-American super star DN here at Michigan State. And just to be able to hear that journey and the lessons that he
learned over that time from the coaches and the support staff, it was amazing. – I used to sit back there and,
honestly, write down things like “Man, I can’t wait
for my senior speech!” And that’s another reason
why I wanted to be here for my senior year. I think this is a special
moment for our seniors, to be able to get up and address the team. I feel like this is a
special moment for us, where we can address the
whole team, where it’s not just players, it’s the
staff that’s onboard also, where they could understand
where we come from and why we’re so happy to
be a part of this team. – One thing that I want
to make sure, that I’ve always wanted to make sure
when it comes time for me to deliver my senior speech,
is that I keep it real, nothin forced or made
up just to sound good for the coaches or anything, but I want to be able to be real with my teammates, with the
guys that I’ve been here with, and give those freshmen a chance to hear from the perspective
of a fifth-year senior who’s been through the ups and downs, who’s been through a
three and nine season, who’s won a Big Ten
championship, who’s graduated! I have my degree. But just to give a real side of things while being a player
here at Michigan State. All my life I’ve been good at writing. I think it came from me
reading a lot of books when I was younger and
being able to form sentences and put words together the way
that they should go together, but I really didn’t get into journalism until my junior year of high school. I took an elective, Journalism,
and being able to go out and have to get stories
and learn about people and hear their perspective,
because one thing that I learned over the last couple years is that life is about perspective. Because you never know what
somebody is going through, what somebody else’s journey,
somebody else’s story is. (upbeat music) For growing up on the
east side of Detroit, my parents, they raised me very well. Big focus was always school first. They really didn’t push sports onto me. First sport I played was
soccer, and I just loved it, running around out there,
little six, seven year-old. Then I got into baseball, and I started playing football at eight. From my dad, playing football, just watching his old tapes
and hearing stories about him and being able to actually start playing, it was something I fell
in love with very early on and went to high school. Me and my mom, we moved down to Missouri, so I was down in Kansas
City at Lee’s Summit West for my freshman and
half my sophomore year. It was a great experience. I met a lot of great people down there. Football program was awesome. School was amazing, but I was homesick, and I wanted to come
back up here with my dad. That’s when I ended up at King. My dad played at King. My mom went to King. Two of my aunties went to King. So being at that school
meant something to me. It was because of the legacy
that my family had there, and I was able to do well at King, academically and on the field, and earn myself a spot
here at Michigan State. Obviously my dad playing
at Michigan, it definitely weighed in on the decision,
but at the end of the day, he always told me that it
was my decision to make, and he would be happy wherever I went because he trusted me, that I knew what would be best for
me at the end of the day. (players shout) (pads smack) (whistle blows) Well, I was a little bit discouraged when I figured out that I
was going to be on Scout Team ’cause I had enrolled early. I was the only early enrollee in my class, and going through spring
ball, you expect to get a head start and a jump on things, but I wasn’t quite where I
needed to be developmentally, so I had to embrace being on Scout Team and going against one of the
best offenses in the country with Connor Cook, Jack
Allen, Aaron Burbridge, those type of guys. Being able to just go
against them every day and home and work on my craft
was something that helped mold me into the player that I am today. – [Announcer] Snap to O’Korn. Draw play. Nothin’ doin’. Evans will lose yardage. Lost about four. Back to the 37. Tyriq Thompson makes the tackle. – My favorite personal moment
was 2017, down in Ann Arbor, playing Michigan, and winning. That was my first time actually getting significant playing time against U of M, and that game just means so much to me, like I said, because of
my dad playing there, and that game definitely
meant something to me. You know, we going through
the dog days of camp, and to be able to come
in those team meetings and hear guys deliver their speeches, it kinda gets you away from
football for a little bit and gets you to connect
on a more personal level with a guy you might not
have had a chance to before. And, like I said, everybody
getting to tell their story is special, most definitely. (computer keys clacking) Coming to deliver my own
speech, I definitely think back to all those speeches that I
remember and stood out to me because being able to have that impact on those younger guys, it makes
all the world of difference. It’s definitely a rite of
passage over the years. You gotta be able to make
it through to the end and Coach D, when he says,
“Complete your circles”, that’s really big, and I
think at the end of it all, that is the culmination of
you completing your circle. A lot of guys, they don’t
necessarily get a chance to address the team, but at
the end of everyone’s career, the do get a chance to stand
in front of their teammates, stand in front of their
coaches, the support staff, the athletic trainers, and
give a side of their story since they’ve been here at Michigan State. And I think that’s something important, something that everyone
should get a chance to do. ‘Preciate all the love, man, for real. Oh, man. Whew! It’s been five years. (heavy rhythmic music)

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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