Back in February 2007, Arthur Ray Jr. signed with the Michigan State football program. Before heading to East Lansing for his freshman year, Ray was diagnosed with cancer. He battled cancer and numerous infections and was only able to return to school at MSU in 2008. At that point getting on the football field was the ultimate goal, but it was a long way away.â†µ
Needing crutches for the better part of the last two years, Ray was only cleared to work out this past January. He hit the weight room and made enough progress that doctors cleared him to actually play last month. The final step before he could officially rejoin the team and start practicing was getting a waiver approved to reverse his medical disqualification status. On Thursday, Ray learned of the decision that stated he was good to go, both health-wise and in terms of his status with the MSU football team.â†µ
"I was in class, and I just cried tears of joy," said Ray, who declined interviews but released a statement through sports information. "I called my mom. It’s the best feeling in the world right now."â†µ
Mark Dantonio stressed that Ray will be worked in only gradually since he hasn't played football in so long. Even so, the fact that Ray is back and practicing at all is quite amazing. Hopefully this fall he will be able to take the field at Spartan Stadium during a game to make his official debut as a Michigan State football player.