Players across the B1G wanted to play football this fall. That sentiment is no different at Michigan State. And while there’s certainly some disappointment about the conference’s decision to postpone the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in East Lansing, players are beginning to look ahead.

A few Michigan State players were made available via Zoom to discuss the team’s reaction to the announcement from the B1G a few weeks ago. There seemed to be a feeling that the season was going to be canceled, but it didn’t really soften the blow.

“I wanted to play. I firmly believe everyone wanted to play,” said linebacker Antjuan Simmons, according to Colton Pouncy of The Athletic. He also said that it was difficult for the B1G to assure players, parents and coaches that a season could’ve been conducted safely.

Defensive back Dominique Long had a similar sentiment.

“Of course we want to play, but at the same time, the decision was made from a realistic situation,” Long said. “Football’s a contact sport so that’s an easy way to spread a virus in that sense.”

Long said the news was “kind of expected” due to the current climate.

Now, the focus for Michigan State isn’t on what could have been. The Spartans are thinking about the future and how the team can be best prepared when it takes the field next, whether that’s in spring or fall of 2021.

“Regardless, we’re gonna put the work in,” Long said.

Long also stated that, right now, the mindset is to push forward as if the season starts tomorrow.

Michigan State has undergone a coaching change, welcoming in Mel Tucker who replaces Mark Dantonio in East Lansing. The Spartans finished last season with a 7-6 record and are hoping to ascend back to the top tier of the B1G under the new regime.