Michigan State player Byron Bullough has family ties to MSU, UND
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- In a little over 24 hours, Notre Dame and Michigan State University will meet on the football field for the 79th time. Because of the proximity of the schools, there are many families who root for both teams.
"I'll always be a Notre Dame fan and I take pride in that," said Byron Bullough, junior linebacker for MSU.
A bold statement for Bullough, but if anybody has the right the root for both the Irish and the Spartans it's him.
Bullough has six family members who have played for the Spartans -including his grandfather, father, uncle and two brothers.
His roots also run to South Bend on his mother's side. His grandfather on his mother's side is Jim Morse, a captain and star running back for the Irish in the 50s. His uncle Jamie played cornerback on the 1977 National Championship Team.
"Both sides of my family, Michigan State, played there, went there and now me. My grandpa, my uncle played at Notre Dame, always growing up playing, watching those games. But it's special, Michigan State vs Notre Dame, it's a rivalry. Kind of like a family rivalry now to me, so it will be fun," Bullough said.
It's fun but a little stressful for his grandfather too.
"You have a variety of feelings when you get into something like that. When Bobby played there, I went to 47 Michigan State games in a row, both home and away. And now the grandsons have been through there, you have mixed emotions I guess. You want your grandsons to play well, you want Notre Dame to play well and that's really what I hope for on Saturday, is that Notre Dame plays a heck of a game and so does Michigan State and may the best team at that point win the football game," Jim Morse said.
Morse's love for his alma mater runs so deep there is now a building on campus with his name on it.
The Coleman-Morse Center offers a variety of services including academic support for student-athletes.
"I, of course, went to Notre Dame on a football scholarship. My son went to Notre Dame and played on the 1977 Championship team there and he was on a football scholarship. So, I think it's important for those of us who have the opportunity and financial ability to do something for the kids, so we've given a number of scholarships down there. We've given the building of course, the thing I like most is we give the football field that's there now, so that's kind of fun," Morse said.
That's right a Michigan State Spartan's grandfather put in the field turf at Notre Dame Stadium.
"He's a true role model for me, always has been. He loves Notre Dame, it's dear to his heart and that's just something that's always been special to me," Bullough said.
After his playing days, Morse went on to be the voice for Notre Dame Football for ABC Radio. He is also has a very successful business career.