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Spartans Visit San Diego Zoo Monday as Part of Holiday Bowl Activities

Dec. 25, 2017

Holiday Bowl Central

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Michigan State football team spent Christmas Day at the San Diego Zoo as part of activities leading up to the 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28 against Washington State.

In the morning, the Spartans had a holiday brunch followed by team meetings, then spent the afternoon at the San Diego Zoo.

At the zoo, selected players got to spend time learning about some animals and interacting with them. Senior center Brian Allen, senior linebacker Chris Frey, junior linebacker Byron Bullough and junior wide receiver Felton Davis III talked with zookeepers and spent time with a tenrec, an armadillo and a binturong (bearcat).

“It was pretty cool. I wish we would’ve got to hold them or something, but understand why we can’t,” Allen said. “The little ones kind of scared me a little bit more than the others. That binturong was pretty cool.”

The binturong left a lasting impression on the players.

“That binturong was really nice, I liked that a lot,” Davis said.

Although he liked the binturong, Davis did get nervous near the end of the animal’s visit.

“I got a little nervous when I saw him running out of food, and I knew that little binturong was going to be hungry, and I didn’t want any of us to be a little snack for him,” Davis said, laughing.



Allen is on his last bowl trip as a Spartan and he’s trying to make the most of the trip.

“Any time you go to a bowl game, being in a different spot and a different city, especially since I’ve never been here before, is really cool,” Allen said. “We’ve had a couple tough practices in the morning, but after that we’ve had some time to kind of hang out and explore San Diego. We’re staying right downtown kind of in the heart of everything, so it’s a pretty good location to be able to walk around and see some pretty cool stuff.”

The team enjoyed their visit to the zoo on another mildly warm day in San Diego, with temperatures near 70 degrees, which provided for quite a different Christmas Day than they’re accustomed to.

“This is a first for me, not being home for Christmas, so it’s a little different, and it’s really different not having any snow around and with it being this warm. The weather is pretty good,” Allen said.

After their zoo visit, the Spartans took advantage of the mild weather by having their first night practice under the lights at their practice location at Mesa College, preparing for Thursday night’s battle with the Cougars of WSU.

“We’re putting the finishing touches around everything,” Davis said. “We’re making sure that we’re perfecting everything that we’re going to do and the plays that we’re going to run. All the hard work has been put in and now it’s about making it perfect.”

The Spartans will have another Holiday Bowl team activity on Tuesday, visiting the USS Essex, before having their second night practice in as many days.

The 40th annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl is set for Thursday, Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. EST at SDCCU Stadium. The game will be televised on FS1.

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