July 30, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State junior offensive tackle Skyler Burkland has announced his retirement from football due to multiple injuries and will forgo his final two years of eligibility with the Spartans.
Seventh-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio confirmed Burkland's decision to apply for medical disqualification on Tuesday, July 30. Once paperwork is approved, Burkland will remain on scholarship to continue his education while not counting toward the NCAA's 85-man scholarship limit.
The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Burkland was a two-year letterwinner who saw action in 15 career games, including 14 starts at right tackle.
"This was a difficult decision for Skyler," Dantonio said. "We'll certainly miss him on the football field, but he'll remain heavily involved in our program and continue to work on earning his degree."
A native of Sunbury, Ohio, Burkland missed a portion of preseason camp and the first game of the season against Boise State in 2012 with a hand injury. He began starting at right tackle in Week 3 against Notre Dame and went on to start the final 11 games of the season for the Spartans. Burkland played 775 snaps during the regular season and led the team with 58 knockdowns, including seven dominators.
Burkland started the first three games at right tackle as a red-shirt freshman in 2011, but fractured/dislocated his left ankle in the first half at Notre Dame and missed the remainder of the season. He took his red-shirt year in 2010.
Burkland was rated among the nation's top offensive linemen coming out of high school. He played in the Aloha Prep Bowl (Mainland vs. Hawaii All-Stars) and was named the Most Physical Lineman at the event by Rivals.com, and also participated in the 2010 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Burkland played his senior season for Coach Joe Weaver at Big Walnut High School in Sunbury, Ohio, and earned a spot on SuperPrep's and PrepStar's All-Midwest Teams. He previously was a two-year, two-way starter at offensive and defensive tackle for Coach John Enochs at Washington Court House (Ohio) High School.