Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 6, 2013

Eastern's Price excited to line up for Michigan State against OSU

Eastern's Price is excited to line up for Michigan State against OSU

(Continued)

Following a bye week, the Spartans opened Big Ten play with a 26-14 road victory over Iowa on Oct. 5.

“To go to Iowa City and get a win right after that tough loss, I’d say that was big for momentum,” Price said.

The Spartans added victories over Indiana, Purdue and Illinois in October, then hit their stride in November as their schedule toughened. Michigan State beat rival Michigan 29-6 at home, then took back-to-back road wins over Nebraska (41-28) and Northwestern (30-6). The Spartans made it 8-0 in league play with a 14-3 win over Minnesota in their home finale last week.

“Every week throughout the season, we just gained a little more confidence,” Price said. “Of course, every game gets bigger when you keep winning and we’ve handled that pressure really well so far. We definitely are excited for the opportunity to play Ohio State, especially with them ranked No. 2 in the country. Last year, when they came up here, it was a close game [Ohio State won 17-16]. We know we can play with them and we’re just excited for the opportunity and the atmosphere.”

Price is making the most of his opportunity. After red-shirting as a true freshman last season when the Spartans had second-team all-league pick Dion Sims at tight end, Price has emerged as the team’s usual starter. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder has 13 receptions for 177 yards. His TD receptions came against Illinois, Northwestern and Minnesota. He also is improving as a blocker.

“It’s definitely been a fun season for me,” he said. “Obviously, Dion was a great player. We felt like there was a lot of pressure on us as tight ends to perform at a high level this year. With [tight ends coach Jim] Bollman’s coaching and us all working hard, we’re doing it by committee. We play four guys and it’s gone well. I love working with those guys and I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had this season. It’s a dream come true.”

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