Anyone who’s ever played on a sports team knows how close teammates can become over the course of a season. The group begins to feel like family. On the MSU football team this year, that comradery is especially true for six athletes – three sets of brothers. The Panasiuks, the Dowells, and the Allens are three MSU football families kicking ass this season, and maybe stirring up a little brotherly competition as well.
Freshman Jacob Panasiuk has big shoes to fill as he joins his brother, sophomore Mike Panasiuk, on the MSU defensive squad this season. During his freshman year, Mike was selected to the All-Big Ten Freshman honorable mention team, and played in every game. His raw talent won him a starting spot for the last three games of the season, with a star moment against Ohio State when he had seven tackles and half a sack. The pair of Panasiuk brothers are from Roselle, Illinois; and coming into MSU, were ranked among the top defensive prospects. This season it will be exciting to see if Mike can continue his success at MSU, and if Jacob can contribute his own talents to a young MSU defense.
Another pair of brothers dueling it out on the field this season are fraternal twins: Redshirt sophomore David Dowell and junior Andrew Dowell. Andrew has had huge success and is the star linebacker for the second year in a row. Ranked fourth on the 2016 team in total tackles, he returns to the field with brother David, who’s vying for a starting spot at safety. This incredibly athletic pair comes from North Ridgeville, Ohio. Let’s hope for another season of Dowell domination!
Last but certainly not least are the Allen brothers, redshirt freshman Matt and senior captain Brian. Matt will compete for playing time on the offensive line this season. Not only is Brian a preseason All-Big Ten first team selection, but he has also been recognized for his success in the classroom as a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Brian’s name is already in the running for national defensive awards, such as the Rimington Trophy and the Outland Trophy. Brian enters his final season as a Spartan as captain alongside teammate Chris Frey. The Allen brothers, from Hinsdale Illinois, have a lot to offer in both talent and leadership this 2017 season.
Best of luck in the 2017 season, Spartans!
Emily Jenkins is a sophomore student majoring in professional writing and comparative cultures and politics, and minoring in Spanish. She is a crossword puzzle enthusiast and a soup lover, and she adores gorillas.