Michigan State DB Tyson Smith says he had a stroke last year

Tyson Smith played in 15 games over his first two seasons at Michigan State.
(Getty Images)

Michigan State defensive back Tyson Smith revealed on Thursday that he dealt with a serious medical issue during the 2016 season.

Smith saw quite a bit of action for the Spartans, playing in eight games and making four starts, but he did not see the field after the team’s Nov. 4 game against Illinois. Now we know why. Smith said Thursday (his 20th birthday) on Twitter that he suffered a stroke.

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Further details of Smith’s condition are unclear, but he noted in his tweet that he is able to “walk, talk and run.” Citing privacy laws and university policy, Michigan State declined to comment further, saying it does not release “detailed medical information” about student-athletes.

Smith was listed with the starting unit on defense in the game notes leading up to the Spartans’ Nov. 12 home game against Rutgers, but he did not play. According to the Detroit News, Michigan State, in its end-of-season notes, attributed Smith’s absence in the final four games to an “undisclosed” situation.

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Smith, who finished the season with 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups, was not in uniform for the spring game in April. The Southfield, Michigan native also appeared in seven games in 2015 as a true freshman and registered five tackles.

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For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!