After Michigan State’s portion of Big Ten media day Wednesday in Chicago, reporters and columnists who cover the Spartans zoomed in on the team’s quarterback situation.
Senior Andrew Maxwell returns as the starter, but offseason speculation focused on the potential impact of several younger QBs, including incoming freshman Damion Terry. Terry, of course, had a brilliant senior season in which he led Cathedral Prep to a state championship and set virtually every District 10 passing record. He’s also a skilled runner, although Terry is certainly a passer first and foremost.
This was coach Mark Dantonio’s response (from msuspartans.com) to a question at media day about the quarterback situation :
“Our quarterback position, first of all, is much stronger than it was last year. Last year we really had a couple of young players. We had a true freshman coming in, Tyler O’Connor, redshirt freshman. He’s had a lot of reps in spring. We had Connor Cook coming in at that particular time with one year under his belt. Now he has experience. We had Andrew Mawell as our starter, but he had limited experience. Now he has 13 games of starting experience. Damion Terry comes in as a true freshman. Outstanding athlete and big body, (220)-pound guy. And a lot of these guys, they all go about 220 and about 6-3. What they do collectively in August will really determine as we move forward.
“Right now Andrew is our number one quarterback. He’s got a great deal of experience and a lot of confidence right now. With that said, Connor Cook has played as everybody knows, and I think that’s a big positive for us. As far as Connor working out, I think the question was as far as he’s working out with some people this summer, he took a week and went out and did some things, much like a lot of our players have done in the past, spending a week with a specific quarterback coach or group of punters or those type of things. So he’s excited about where he’s at as well and his confidence is very high. So we’re looking forward to the competition.”
Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal noted Maxwell’s absence from media day.
The Detroit News said that Terry is one of those who could push Maxwell although two young returnees, Tyler O’Connor and Connor Cook, are more prominently mentioned.
Before media day, Mike Griffith of MLive had a list of five questions, including: “Will incoming freshman QB Damion Terry play, and will the Spartans have a secondary QB package?”
Erie fans know Terry is a talent, but the Spartans also have a lot of options returning at QB. Terry will have to pick up the offense quickly and make a superb showing early in camp if he hopes to earn playing time as a true freshman.
– Jeff Kirik, sports editor