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Robert Spillane returns to Western Michigan

Western Michigan’s leading tackler returns months later after being granted release

MAC Championship - Western Michigan v Ohio Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After being granted a release from Western Michigan in late February, inside linebacker Robert Spillane announced he will return to the program for his senior season.

Spillane officially broke the news when he posted a message on his Twitter account on Wednesday afternoon.

Spillane was the first commit in former head coach P.J. Fleck’s 2014 recruiting class. Weeks after Fleck’s departure to Minnesota, Western Michigan announced Spillane would not return to the program for 2017.

Days after the Broncos’ Spring Scrimmage, Spillane altered his decision and is now focused on playing in the Tim Lester era at Western Michigan.

Spillane returns as one of the major contributors in Kalamazoo after the graduation of an esteemed senior class that featured quarterback Zach Terrell, wide receiver Corey Davis, offensive tackle Taylor Moton, and defensive end Keion Adams. Spillane led the Broncos in tackles with 111 in 2016 and additionally tallied three sacks and three interceptions during the 13-1 season.

Spillane also recorded the game-sealing interception in the 2016 MAC Championship Game to stave off the upset-hungry Ohio Bobcats. As a result, Western Michigan etched its name into New Year’s Six lore, becoming the first MAC team to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl under the new playoff format.

Spillane and the Broncos retake the field on Sept. 2 to battle the USC Trojans in Los Angeles — a clash of 2016 New Year’s Six Bowl teams.