EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – On Saturday morning, Michigan State University’s football team held its second scrimmage of fall camp and when things wrapped up inside Spartan Stadium, the team had a special visitor waiting to join the team.
Meet Mason, the Spartans’ newest eight-star signee, according to defensive back Caleb Coley.
The 9-year-old from Lansing was diagnosed with hydrocephalous and cerebral palsy and made things official thanks to Team Impact, a nonprofit that matches children facing serious illnesses and disabilities to college athletic teams, and MSU alum Lauren Barsamian, whose nonprofit organization in honor of her late husband, the Matthew D. Barsamian Foundation, supports charitable endeavors in sports and youth programs.
“It’s a, a very humbling experience,” Jordan Hall, freshman linebacker said. “Not everybody is as fortunate as we are to be able to come out here and play, but giving Mason this opportunity really gives me the honor and makes me want to keep doing things like this and make it a special time for him.”
“It just puts everything in perspective,” Noah Kim, redshirt junior quarterback said. “You just want to enjoy every single day and you look at Mason and he enjoys every single day of his life. You just can’t take anything for granted and we want to get out there and give it everything we’ve got every single day. Just having him around definitely inspires everybody here.”
This relationship between Mason and the team began a few months ago through a Zoom call and built up to Saturday when everybody was finally able to meet in-person for the first time. Many players have been supporting Mason over the last few months, including freshman Jordan Hall, who has only been in East Lansing since January.
“I feel like you know it shouldn’t really matter what a year somebody is,” Hall said. “To be able to put this uniform on is a privilege enough to want to be able to help others.”
“Life is hard, there’s so much struggle and this means so much to Mason and this family,” Barsamian said. “I think it also means so much for these teammates too because it’s all about your team. You cannot get through life without your team being there to support you and raise you during those really difficult times. This just shows life is bigger than football and this is what it’s all about.”
So what is the the team most excited about for Mason to bring to the table?
“Hopefully everything,” Kim said. “He has got some energy and excitement, which is always great to have around. Adding him just makes us all better and come together closer.”
“Everything that we need,” Hall said. “I was just telling him, he’s kind of the puzzle piece that we were looking for. He has great energy that we need and it’s gonna be fun having him with us.”