Mar 30, 2012

Michigan State Spring Practice Storylines

From MSU Football Facebook Page
By Sean Gagnier

The post-Kirk Cousins era has begun in East Lansing, Mich and Junior Andrew Maxwell is at the helm. Cousins is coming off a very successful college career but he has said that the team is in good hands with Maxwell.

"He's (Maxwell) a lot farther along at this point in his career than I was," Cousins said at media availability earlier in the season.

While Maxwell has only attempted 51 passes in games during his Spartan tenure, Head coach Mark Dantonio has confidence in the junior. He is talented, no one is doubting that, the real thing is if he can get the team to coalesce around him.

MSU Football Facebook Page
Maxwell inherits a young receiving corps that includes Bennie Fowler, Juwan Caesar, Keith Mumphrey and Tennessee-transfer DeAnthony Arnett. While a group of inexperienced receivers may seem like a negative thing for most quarterbacks, Maxwell may be in luck. These are the guys that he has been working with for several years during practices while the big names were catching passes from Cousins.

That relationship and understanding of one another that was built during their time on the practice squad will end up helping both Maxwell and the receivers that are tapped as starters for this season.

The receiving corps is another point that is thought to be a weakness, but with Caesar being a touted recruit and Coach Dantonio's recent statements about the progression of Mumphrey, not to mention the experienced Fowler and Arnett - this team won't miss a beat, or a pass for that matter.

Michigan State enjoyed one of the best defense's in the Big Ten and country during the 2011 season and despite losing Jerel Worthy the Spartans "D" doesn't look to miss a beat.

The Spartans will have Marcus Rush, Tyler Hoover, Anthony Rashad White, William Gholston, Micajah Reynolds and Lawrence Thomas on the defensive line in 2012. And if opposing offensive lines can keep those behemoths back long enough their QB's will have to face linebackers Taiwan Jones, Max Bullough and Denicos Allen.

Michigan State looks to have only improved in the off-season despite losing many faces of their program, but that is a mark of a good program. Players come through and draw attention to the team as they succeed and are replaced by players who look to improve on what came before them.


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