Do it again: Dale working back onto field after setbacks

Torrey Dale, right, missed the 2013 spring game due to illness and then injured his MCL early in the season, but he has worked his way back and is expected to be an integral part of MSU's defense. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Torrey Dale, right, missed the 2013 spring game due to illness and then injured his MCL early in the season, but he has worked his way back and is expected to be an integral part of MSU’s defense. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – The past 12 months have not gone as planned for Mississippi State’s Torrey Dale.

After redshirting his initial season, Dale had worked his way up to 260 pounds and was part of the second team at defensive end. But just a few days before the 2013 spring game, Dale developed tonsillitis, forcing him to miss the remainder of spring practice.

Dale dropped 40 pounds during the recovery process putting him right back at the weight he started at as a three-star prospect out of national powerhouse John Curtis Christian (La.). He made his debut against Alcorn State last season and recorded a pair of tackles against Troy before more bad news came in – a torn MCL.

The knee injury did not require surgery but sidelined Dale for the rest of the season.

“It always hurts when you’ve put in so much work to play and something unfortunate happens,” Dale said. “You get setbacks, but that’s life so what you have to do is get healthy, work hard and come back out and do it again.”

That is the approach the 6-foot-6 rising sophomore took this spring. Dale was able to get his weight back up to 245 in time for spring practice and again found himself working with the second team at defensive end.

Scrimmage success

In MSU’s three spring scrimmages inside Davis Wade Stadium, Dale notched four tackles and two sacks.

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“Spring is a time where you can put it all out there,” Dale said. “You don’t have to worry about putting in a game plan or anything, you can just go hard. If you go hard you’ll find your way onto the field. Spring is a big deal for everybody because that’s where you earn your playing time.”

Dale is one of eight defensive linemen the Bulldogs signed in 2012 and will be an integral part of the defense this fall.

“I feel like our D-line could be the best in the country if we all work hard,” Dale said. “We’ve got the mindset now where we all know what we want and are all going on the same mission to be the best and get to where we want to be.”

Dale heads into the offseason hoping to make up for lost time. He is striving to get his weight back up to 260 and stay part of David Turner’s rotation on the defensive line.

“I’m working hard to get on the field and make a statement,” Dale said. “That’s what I came here to do. Unfortunately, I’ve had some setbacks but I’ll keep pushing and fighting to do what I came here to do and that’s play.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com