Craig Evans, Montez Sweat Part Ways with Michigan State Football Team

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIApril 19, 2016

Michigan State linebacker T.J. Harrell (31) and defensive tackle Craig Evans (72) listen to music together during the media day for the NCAA Cotton Bowl college football game Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
LM Otero/Associated Press

Michigan State Spartans defensive linemen Craig Evans and Montez Sweat have left the football team for "personal reasons."

The university announced the news Monday in a release (via Mike Griffith of MLive.com): "Michigan State sophomore defensive lineman Craig Evans and sophomore defensive end Montez Sweat have left the football team for personal reasons effective immediately, according to an announcement made Monday, April 18, by head coach Mark Dantonio."

Evans was suspended during last spring's drills, and Sweat had just finished serving an indefinite suspension that lasted from last season's second game of the year until spring practice, per Griffith.

Evans played in 11 games for the Spartans last year and had stints in which he made an impact for Dantonio's defense. He recorded four tackles twice, once in the team's shocking 17-14 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on Nov. 21.

He also totaled two tackles in the College Football Playoff semifinals against the eventual national champion Alabama Crimson Tide.

Sweat, meanwhile, did not see much action in his two years at Michigan State. He totaled four tackles in his freshman year in 2014, but the team redshirted him in 2015 because of its crowded defensive line.

"Let's just say I'm behind Shilique Calhoun,'' Sweat said regarding where he stood on the depth chart in August, per Griffith. "I'm one of the fastest guys on the D-line, and they like my pass rush. But I want to be on the field on all the downs."

Griffith noted Dantonio called Sweat's status on the team "in limbo" last week.

Three seniors from the defensive line graduated last year, including potential first-round pick Shilique Calhoun. Evans and Sweat looked to be in position to see an increase in playing time, but that won't be the case.

Defense was the main reason why the Spartans went 12-2 and won the Big Ten title last year. Though losing two guys on the line would normally hurt a team, Dantonio's defenses usually play with a next-man-up mentality, so Michigan State should be fine.

Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference.com/cfb.


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