By Chelsey Stoa, MSU Athletic Communications Intern
Senior linebacker Sean Harrington is not taking the opportunity to play football this season for granted. The fifth-year senior was forced to sit out the entire 2016 season after tearing his Achilles tendon just one week before the first game of the season.
“I was in a good position to play a lot of football before I got hurt,” said Harrington. “It was awful; probably the worst time of my life. I was on crutches for three months. Being away from the game for a while really put a new perspective on what I value and what’s important to me. I have a whole new appreciation for the game.”
The Commerce Township native knows what’s on the line this season after coming off a disappointing 2016 in which he was unable to help his team be successful.
“Last season with the lack of success, it really showed a different spectrum of things. I’ve been here when football has been at its best, and I’ve also experienced it when its not. I know what it takes to get back to the top and the injury kind of made me take a new perspective on not only football but also in life.”
Nothing has come easy for the fifth-year senior, as he started his journey as a Spartan by getting accepted to the school for academics, he was not offered a scholarship from MSU out of high school. Harrington intended to try and walk on to the team, but decided to send his tape to the coaching staff. He earned preferred walk-on status and the rest, he says, is history.
“I’m Michigan-born. I grew up in the metro-Detroit area about an hour from here. I’ve always loved Michigan State. My dad went here, my uncle went here. I lived to watch the Spartans on Saturdays when I was a kid,” Harrington said.
Harrington has already graduated from MSU, having walked at commencement in the spring with a degree in economics. He is now working toward a second degree in political science.
After MSU, Harrington hopes to continue playing football. Despite being born in Michigan, Harrington is a dual-citizen of Canada and the United States, and the senior thinks the Canadian Football League may be a good fit. If professional football doesn’t work out for him, he’s got other dreams and aspirations to follow.
“I want to do something in International Business and possibly go to the other side of the world. I really want to go to Hong Kong and see China and other parts of Asia,” said Harrington.
As with many others, Harrington is most looking forward to Oct. 7 when MSU heads to Michigan to take on the Wolverines. The rivalry between the two schools has a little extra on the line for him, as both of his sisters are current students at Michigan.
“There’s not a lot of smack talk that goes on between my sisters and me. They’re always on my side. But there’s nothing like going to the big house and beating Michigan. Growing up in Michigan I know what the rivalry is like. There’s no game like it.”
Harrington knows there is a lot to accomplish this season, and he’s ready for the challenge. The senior has learned a lot in his five years at MSU, but he’s still got one more season wearing the Green and White.
“I love the relationships that you build with people. Obviously, my teammates over the past five years; the ones that are gone and the ones that are still here are going to be my best friends for life. We’ve been through everything together.”
Come Sept. 23 and all other games, you can find Harrington preparing for the season opener in a way you may not expect; listening to symphony music to setting the scene for the calm before the storm.