July 26, 2012

Dantonio has confidence in freshman long snapper

CHICAGO - During his opening statement on Thursday at the Big Ten Media Days, Mark Dantonio made a point to acknowledge junior long snapper Steve Moore, whose football career came to end when he fractured his C4 vertebra in a diving accident last weekend.

"It was traumatic, I was shocked," said Dantonio off-podium. "It just shows you how fragile life is and how a person's life can change in five seconds. We all need to be thankful and feel blessed in terms of what we have and where we are at, regardless of where we are at.

"What I have talked to him about is that the shock is over and you deal with the facts. You have a starting point and you move forward. Thank God that he is not paralyzed and that he has all feeling and will walk and have a full, normal life. We should be thankful for that."

Moore, who started the Outback Bowl over Matt Giampapa because of disciplinary reasons, was expected to compete with highly-touted incoming freshman Taybor Pepper for the starting long snapper job during training camp. Pepper was a late addition to Michigan State's 2012 recruiting class after Giampapa transferred last spring.

Dantonio has confidence in Pepper.

"I have never recruited a scholarship snapper before (him)," Dantonio said. He is excellent. We watched him snap in person. We did that in camp when he was a junior. He is excellent and we feel very good about that position."

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