MSU has arsenal of arms at QB

EAST LANSING — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio thinks the same of his quarterback situation as he did in April and likely will when camp begins in August.

It’s senior Andrew Maxwell’s starting job, with competition welcomed in camp and chances for others expected during the 2013 season. However it all shakes out, Dantonio noted this week that the position is stronger than it was a year ago.

“I think our quarterback situation is in better shape than it was last year — we have four scholarship quarterbacks,” Dantonio said after taking part in a Detroit Economic Club speaking program Tuesday at the Westin Book Cadillac. “We have a redshirt freshman who has a lot of practice experience, we have a dynamic freshman coming in, we have an experienced quarterback coming back that’s played in 13 games.

“And another guy, (sophomore) Connor Cook, that’s coming back that has the game experience and bowl experience where he really led the team to a winning score. There is talent at that position. All those things are a positive. We’ve got to make plays and deliver at that position.”

A year ago, Maxwell was the untested heir apparent to Kirk Cousins, backed up by Cook as a redshirt freshman. Tyler O’Connor was an incoming freshman who was designated to redshirt unless an emergency hit.

A 7-6 season followed, capped by Cook’s winning field goal drive in relief of Maxwell in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Both have game experience. O’Connor got reps in the spring, and incoming freshman Damion Terry will arrive later this month.

MSU has the luxury of redshirting the Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep standout, but that doesn’t mean it will happen for sure. Clearly, someone other than Maxwell will take some snaps in 2013.

“I think it’s important to recognize that Maxwell’s a senior and that we need to get somebody ready as we move forward,” Dantonio said. “So you’ll see another quarterback playing a little bit. And certainly, there will be competition in camp to see where that’s at. But I do think it’s important that we take a broad-based look at all four quarterbacks that are in camp. And that’s what we always do.

“As I said after the spring game: Right now, Maxwell’s our quarterback, and we’re moving in that direction. But we’ve got to play well.”

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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