There was hope that Michigan State would get a veteran boost from sixth-year senior Damon Knox.

But MSU announced on Friday that the expected starting defensive tackle will not be back in 2016. He’ll pursue a career in law enforcement.

Knox waited throughout the spring to hear from the NCAA if he was granted a sixth year of eligibility. He won’t spend a sixth year in East Lansing despite the fact that he was injured for much of the last two seasons.

A university spokesperson told the Lansing State Journal that Knox never officially filed for a sixth year of eligibility.

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That’s a major blow for a Spartan team that already had major holes to fill on the defensive line. Michigan State lost three of its four starters from 2015, and reserves Montez Sweat and Craig Evans both left the team for personal reasons.

The Spartans do return a likely preseason All-American defensive tackle in Malik McDowell. But without Knox, it remains to be seen who will start alongside McDowell. Redshirt freshman Raequan Williams could be a candidate to fill that spot, as could fellow redshirt freshman Cassius Peat.

Michigan State will have three-and-a-half months to find a replacement for Knox, who had 42 tackles and four tackles for loss in his career.