Apr 19, 2012

Connor Cook will get shot to impress Michigan State coaches as QB Andrew Maxwell nurses knee

Photo: MSUSpartans.com -- Connor Cook will have his chance to impress Michigan State coaches while starter Andrew Maxwell rests a sprained knee.

By Adam Biggers

Michigan State Spartans football followers may not be all that familiar with Connor Cook. But they will be April 28 during the team's Spring Game in East Lansing.

Cook, a redshirt freshman, will run both offenses in the spring scrimmage, according to a report, now that starter Andrew Maxwell is out with a sprained knee.

So, who is Cook?

He was virtually an unknown last year as Kirk Cousins starred at Michigan State, and the excess attention was focused on Maxwell, his heir to the position. Only the ardent Michigan State followers were aware of Cook, a talented third-stringer.

Cook was the Spartans scout team's Most Valuable Player on offense in 2011 during the week of the Minnesota game. He was ranked as the No. 9 pro-style quarterback by Rivals.com during his senior year at Walsh Jesuit in Hinckley, Ohio.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound frosh may not be the starter come fall, but he doesn't plan to give Spartans coaches any reason to doubt his abilities. Although his teammate is down, Cook doesn't plan to just fill in.

"This just gives me the opportunity to work with the 1s and prove to the coaches that I can compete and I can be the No. 1 quarterback," Cook told MLive.com.

According to William Gholston, Cook is a strong competitor with an accurate arm. Maxwell may be the No. 1 for now, but Gholston says Cook isn't exactly a slouch.

"I wouldn't sleep on him," Gholston said. "He has a great arm, is a team guy. I hit him a lot. He gets back up, shakes my hand."

Maxwell's injury is unfortunate. However, it does give another player to showcase his skills. Granted, the current scenario probably isn't what Cook imagined, but it's now his job to compete for. We'll probably see Maxwell in August. But Gholston said it best with his "I wouldn't sleep on him" comment.

At the very least, the frequent reps will have Cook prepared if Michigan State needs him down the road. Some back-ups are sideline props, a far distant second to the starter. Having two guys ready to go will add another dimension to the Spartans offense.

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