Former Michigan State DT Mark Scarpinato headed to Pittsburgh

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It’s somewhat commonplace for professional athletes to announce their retirement, spend a full year out of the game, and then jump back in. It’s almost unheard of for a college athlete to do it, though. The timeline is just too short.

That’s what former Michigan State defensive tackle Mark Scarpinato is attempting to do, though. Scarpinato tweeted Wednesday he is reviving his football career as a member of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

The connection there is obvious, of course. Former Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is now the head coach at Pitt.

Scarpinato was last seen on the field as a rotation player on a No. 1-ranked defense that helped Michigan State win a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl, collecting 15 tackles with one TFL, one sack two pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.

He left football following the 2013 season to pursue a career as an orthopedic surgeon at Milwaukee’s Medical College of Wisconsin.

“When I signed my letter of intent, my goal was to graduate from Michigan State and win a Rose Bowl,” Scarpinato told MLive.com at the time. “I’ve achieved those things, and now it’s time for me to move on. I called my dad last Friday and told him, and he told me he hasn’t been this proud of me since the day I was born.”

A Michigan State graduate, Scarpinato will use the graduate transfer exception to pursue a Master’s of Health Administration.

“Med school is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life; harder than any conditioning or football, and you have to give everything you have to it,” he said. “There was just something missing for me. You can tell the guys on the field who aren’t 100% in, and that’s how it was in med school. There was a dichotomy between me and everyone else because I was still thinking about football, so I needed to finish it,” he told Panther Lair. “So I was looking at the top MHA programs, and for like the first five days I kept glancing past Pitt; it didn’t click. I talked to some other schools, and then at two in the morning one night, I woke up and said, wait, Coach ‘Duzz is the head coach at Pitt and they have a great MHA program. It all fell in from there.”

Utah State player upgraded to fair condition after collapse

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Utah State redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is in fair condition on Friday, one day after collapsing at spring football practice following sudden cardiac arrest, the university announced.

Davis, initially was listed in critical condition, was breathing on his own. He is in the intensive-care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Davis’ parents arrived in Utah on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Davis, who is from Carlsbad, California, collapsed at Merlin Olsen Field and was immediately treated by the training staff, the university said. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

The university said Davis was stabilized in the Logan hospital before being moved to Ogden.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.