Hill the man in the return game, video scoreboard photos

Quietly Nick Hill put together one of the best seasons in school history as well as in the Big Ten in kickoff returns with 999 yards.

Now the sophomore from Chelsea appears to be the front runner to replace Keshawn Martin at that spot.

“Nick Hill is a guy maybe a little bit overlooked in the whole scheme of things, special teams wise…,” Mark Dantonio said. “If you watch him out there, he does a cartwheel and still catches the punt. Whatever we want him to do. He’s got great hands.”

Solari has the story on Hill here and the importance of returning punts.

Also here is a notebook from yesterday with  a little more information about the Lawrence Thomas’ concussion, Dion Sims’ strong scrimmage and Mark Dantonio’s thought’s on Kirk Cousins’ big performance in the scrimmage.

And if you missed this news from yesterday, reports indicate former Ohio State defensive end Kenny Hayes has transferred to MSU (his family declined to comment on it) and that lead tailback Le’Veon Bell maintains a chip on his shoulder from when his skills and capabilities were doubted by many. Also, former Spartan Kirk Cousins is settling into his role as the backup to No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III for the Redskins.

The scoreboards at Spartan Stadium yesterday. It wouldn’t let me embed the photos into this post but here is the north and south end zone video boards.



This entry was posted in Football, Mark Dantonio, Michigan State, Players. Bookmark the permalink.

76 Responses to Hill the man in the return game, video scoreboard photos

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Glad to see Bell motivated, welcome aboard Hayes.

  2. avatar '89 Chemistry says:

    MUST — NOT — WRITE —— !!
    { is patience worth an aneurysm? I mean}
    uh, (ten days is close enough, right? I think right.)
    89 Chemistry’s Incomplete, Just-Can’t-Wait Boise State — MSU Football Preview!
    (with apologies to MSUDersh for repeating (not plagiarizing!) some of his work.)

    I. Player Lists: a—the past
    Nationally—and arguably on the conference level—BSU players ain’t as respected as MSU players right now. It begins with the recent past.

    Neither team has a returning All-American. (Few teams do.) But let’s extend the generous supposition that All-Mountain West and All-WAC players are as good as All-B1G players, and compare such players returning in 2012. MSU has six 1st (Adams, Conroy) & 2nd (Denicos Allen, Bullough, Gholston, Lewis) -team returnees. (Adams was also 2nd-team in 2010.) Boise State: None.

    I look at conference Players of the Week, too—it provides a crude index of a team’s breadth of high-impact, game-seizing players. MSU’s returning BTPotWs mostly earned these awards on special teams (Denicos, Conroy, Elsworth, Sadler); the exception is Tyler Hoover—who earned his in a past position. In 2010. Five Spartans.

    If their awards seem trivial, what’s to be made of BSU’s analogous list? Punt-returner Chris Potter earned his PotW in 2010. In the WAC. That’s the list. One plus zero.

    b—watch lists
    And yet we’re warned by knowledgeable folks that BSU [except for all-world QB Kellen Moore] simply reloads. So the pre-season and Watch Lists must be informed of BSU up ‘n comers, yes? Well, pre-season All-Americaners might not be: I found three Spartans (Adams, Gholston, Bell) on such lists, but no Broncos.

    National Trophy/Award “Watch Lists” cite over 200 players altogether. Ten of them are MSU Spartans (Denicos, Adams, Bell, M. Bullough, Conroy, Gholston, Lewis, McDonald, Rush, D. Sims). The four Broncos on Watch Lists are [LB] J.C. Percy; [RB] D.J. Harper; XR [receiver] Matt Miller; and OG Joe Kellogg.

    Since themwc.com only lists one pre-season All-MWC squad, comparing them to only 1st-team pre-season ABT Spartans seems fair—and provides an image of parity. Five Spartans are projected at this level: Adams, Denicos, Gholston, Lewis & McDonald. BSU’s Percy and Harper are not. But Kellogg & Miller are—and they’re joined by CB Jamar Taylor and DT Mike Atkinson. Five Spartans, four Broncos. Unless the B1G and MWC are unequal at the top. In that case, let’s add projected ABT 2nd-teamers Max B., Conroy, Fonoti & Rush and call 9-4 good.


    II. Returning Starters & Recruiting Stars
    (Except for special teams, don’t think hastily on any of this section’s numbers.)

    Both teams return kickers; for MSU, Sadler is punting again. BSU has two very good veteran punt returners in Potter and ZR Mitch Burroughs. MSU veteran kick returner—sophomore Nick Hill—is also good.

    On O, BSU returns Kellogg; a guard (Leno!) apparently now at tackle; Burroughs; and Miller. The Spartans return all LBs, both ends; both CBs, and safety Isaiah Lewis on defense. [4 BSU vs. 8, MSU.]

    The Spartan offense returns four linemen (Fonoti, France, Jackson, McDonald) and Le’Veon Bell. The Bronco D returns only Atkinson & Taylor. [5 MSU v. 2 BSU.]

    Average 2008-2012 Scout & Rivals recruit ratings: MSU 3.05 stars; BSU 2.53 stars.

    III. BSU Reporters’/Fans’ Comments from Spring Game to Date:
    The DEs look very good, and the secondary is expected to be (and apparently looks) excellent*. Fans are bullish about most other positions. In the spring, blocking was repeatedly deemed poor and the punting & kicks-for-points were bad to horrific. But last Thursday a coach said the kicking and punting was “awesome”. And in last Saturday’s scrimmage two kickers went 10 for 11 on field goals (average ~33 yards). BSU’s been focusing on short FGs in August; we’ll have to wait for the season to learn if this progress translates to longer FGs.

    {* Jerrell Gavins is a man above his stature. He didn’t play much in 2011 before injury, but in those three games—including @ Georgia—he broke up three passes and had three INTs.}

    Also, Head Coach Chris Petersen might actually be as stingy with information as Dantonio. If there’s any doubt, fall camp opened with a depth chart listing FOUR starting QBs.

    Among the QB’s, Joe Southwick is the most experienced with the system, and looked best Saturday (roughly where Maxwell was a year ago) despite the absence of XR Miller on the field. (Petersen says there are no major injuries to players since they lost center Cory Yriarte.) And two backup QBs gave MSU something to think about by having two completions go for 115 yards—to true freshmen receivers. Keep in mind, though, that Kellen Moore started (and excelled) despite poor scrimmages in his day.

    The defenses got seven turnovers Saturday; either they’re amazing opportunists, or the offenses are horrid. (In 2011, they were a highly opportunistic D, but they also exhibited a disproportionate need to gamble to be generally successful on defense according to footballstudyhall.com.) One blogger noted that the DEs exhibited a lot of speed, and that the other units looked good or played well. With that said, the three-deep of running backs are good to excellent. And the offensive sets had no wildcats or other exotica; it’s been reported that at least one MSU rep was at the scrimmage.

    IV. Closing Trivia
    ESPN predicts a 37% chance of an upset (I interpret that as a four-point margin favoring MSU).

    • avatar MSUDersh says:

      Great work, 89, & thanks for the props. Don’t forget that last season, Boise was not only in the 7th (at best) conference, but that conference only had 8 teams. This season it has 10 teams, adding Hawaii, Fresno State & Nevada, but is clearly weaker for having lost preseason #20 team TCU.

      The thing I’m concerned about is the fact that this game is Boise’s entire season. If they win, they have a shot at going undefeated and being a BCS buster. Should they lose, it will take winning out just to climb back into the top 15 and secure the MWC’s automatic berth in the Maaco Las Vegas bowl.

      Coach Petersen has taken down bigger schools than MSU in these openers. Thank goodness that Kellen Moore, the winningest QB in NCAA history is gone. Also, Boise is known for being anything but clutch in the kicking game, so if it comes down to FGs We have a huge advantage.

    • avatar westov10 says:

      All of this means nothing.

      • avatar '89 Chemistry says:

        Thanks for reading my entire post. It’s a matter of perspective; MSU sports also means nothing to most people. It also means nothing that winter is predicted for Michigan in January & February. Still, I wouldn’t stake the decision to lounge & sleep outside in Marquette in Speedos for those months on a coin flip.

        • avatar Spartan in Los Angeles says:

          Mark Hollis means nothing to 1,344,130,000 people in China as well but it does not mean Mark Hollis is not having a tremendous impact.

  3. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    From the last post:

    Spartydoobydoo says:
    August 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Just read the Nick Hill article…..look forward to seeing what he can do with the ball in his hands on punt returns!!

    I was a little surprised to see his numbers from last year on kick returns….I knew he had speed and got the offense in good field position, but didn’t know he racked up that much yardage!!

    My only note is I hope he’s added a couple juke moves to his bag of tricks for this year….seems like he was all “full steam ahead” last year and if he could have made a couple guys miss, possibly could have had a couple TD’s for his stat line.

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      All in all I thought last year he I’d pretty well though. I don’t know enough to know whether not that was a function of his ability, his blockers, the quality of the opponents kickers, or game strategies.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      I am pretty sure working with Bell that he will work on a spin as well.

  4. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    With the performance of Maxwell in the scrimmage, would you think that free safety and
    Not the passing game is now the biggest area of uncertainty on this team. With free safety it is not so much depth but intelligence and experience. We had depth without experience and intelligence in the 09 secondary.

    • avatar Chris Solari says:

      Can’t say I agree with that. Scrimmages are controlled and QBs don’t get hit, so that’s still the 1A issue, with 1B still being WR. How they react under normal game circumstances is TBD. At least Jairus Jones has playing experience at free safety. Plus, the veterans around the open FS and DT spots can always compensate for a newcomer. Don’t have quite that luxury between QBs and WRs.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Thanks that was pretty much word for word from Joe Rexrodes blog, so I was just wondering if you had a differant opinion.

        • avatar Spartan 81 says:

          To clarify, I am not qualified like Joe and you are to analyze I never thought to question Joe on the not being hit aspect, so I was just trying to see if the opinion was unanimous, I guess Joes concern with free safety was unfounded then, thanks PS. I was not trying to trap you like the Pharisees in the temple just checking to see if there was consensus on this point.

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

          As with battle, newbies be come old hands within the first 30 seconds or they don’t see the next 30 seconds. These guys will have a little more leeway as in a number of plays to give or receive a big hit, but then they’ll settle down and just play football. These are all quality young men, character and substance always wins over flash and bravado.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            We have great kids, just trying down to pin down the area of concern, even Alabama has an area of concern, does not mean that area will not excell as well as the rest once the action starts.

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            Understand what you’re saying, my point is sports writers are always looking for the negative, Something can always be better, he struck out 16, but he walked 4. The qb position and WR position make perfect excuses for belittling the Spartans and most of the “national” press has done just that. The Paris Hiltons when Roundtree went down have the same experience at WR as the Spartans and the world knows that Robinson couldn’t pass the the tray of canapés without spilling them, but still that isn’t talked about. All of his running yards last year came against DII talent. They have nobody back on the D line, and 1 guy of any talent on the O line. As the Eagles demonstrated last night, Paris Hilton is one play away from going 0-11.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Totally agree. All great players were rookies once. It’s also not like they’ve never been hit before. These guys have been playing football far longer than the few years they will be at MSU. I trust our coaches know how to prepare them for the B1G stage.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            One load of bricks feels like any other when it falls on you.

    • avatar Breadtruck86 says:

      Even the greatest QB needs someone to throw to. Jerry Rice helped Joe Montana a lot. Lynn Swann helped make Terry Bradshaw great. Andre Rison made Bobby McCallister look a lot better than his throws were (love you, Bobby, but you know I’m right!).

      The passing game will be our biggest concern because it impacts three to four players on offense per play, depending on the situation. We have a lot of unknowns there, and are a key injury or two away from having no experience at the position. Worrying about one member of the secondary on a stacked defense pales in comparison.

  5. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Chris, nice of you to share the photo on the permalink with Calloway, without pulling rank captions are reversed though

  6. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Marine , reply link gone on the iPad but we are in agreement here, Joe said area to watch was free safety not wr that’s all

  7. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Solari is pretty damm unselfish sharing the photo withCalloway, he is not a Ron Burgundy prima donna

  8. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    But I wager inside his apt are many leather books and his rental smells of rich mahogany and cheese fries

  9. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Ten days.

    Oh, when the moon shines down and cools the tar up on the roof
    And band gets so loud you wish your tired ears were sound-proof
    Under the vid-board, down in row 23 yeah
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be showing some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)

    From the crowd you hear the happy sound of a Spartan yell.
    Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and popcorn they sell
    Under the vid-board, down by row 23
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be showing some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)


    Oooooh, under the vid-board, down in row 23, yeah
    On a bleacher with my son is where I’ll be

    (Under the vid-board) out of the sun
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be havin’ some fun
    (Under the vid-board) people screaming out loud
    (Under the vid-board) we’ll be fashioning some love
    Under the vid-board (vid-board!)

  10. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    By the time stamp I see Joe is still hosting the blog in his London hotel room. So glad he fixed the IPad posting problems that came with the pay for play in May.

  11. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:


    Are you still having to approve every comment like a politician? If so I will not be so happy with the post button.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      No he would have complained about if that were the case great song btw looking forward to meeting your son bringing my izzone shirt along

  12. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Does anyone know anything more than speculation why Riley Norman from Cadillac chose shot put over football. I live here and haven’t heard anything. Is there still a chance for him to try it?

  13. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Are we U S the only ones to respond to this thread. Where is everybody? I feel like I’m n that Twilight Zone episode when the guy got locked in the bank vault during WW III.

  14. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    btw Atlanta was the first one to spot that Nick Hill had some “serious quicks”

    • avatar java bob says:

      I have to say I am offended by that just saying it is unfair piling on like the show stars earn stripes they could have hired me but blew it.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        Dhaini, that is the most offensive show on TV, to some 10 million veterans, it wouldn’t have helped your image. Where did you get the SEAL outfit for your “demo-tape”? Glad to hear the ’05 Honda is still running. What, no whistling?

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are. Kid violated the school rules, mother is ignorant and so full of entitlement that she can’t be bothered to read the rule book.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      Hey look, the same person using 2 different names is talking to himself again about something we don’t care about, shocker

    • avatar Breadtruck86 says:

      Hey, that shirt WAS offensive! You’ve gotta be so careful of what you buy at Wal-Mart these days…….

  15. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:


    The names and pictures on the G&W main page are reversed.


  16. avatar jerseyjohn says:

    this is a test..does anyone know if joe rexrode has replaced george sipple as the msu beat writer at the freep..

  17. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    The Freep isn’t a very good paper folks, I say that because of their editorial bias.

    Here is the linking headline from a drew sharp article:
    “Drew Sharp: MSU QB Maxwell contends wait to start was worth it Aug. 20, 2012″

    Please note the word contends and all it’s negative connotations. Here’s the title of the article:
    “Drew Sharp: Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell says ‘it’s worth waiting for the chance to start’”

    The latter is positive about the opportunity, the former is iffy. Yellow journalism at it’s finest.

    PS I don’t think Drew Sharp writes the links, that’s some Walmart Paris Hilton gofer in the IT.

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      The FREEP does and always will suck, poor Joe

    • avatar Update on Indefinite Suspension at EWEOFEM says:

      Michigan’s Toussaint will be arraigned Aug. 28 on OWI charge


      I must say, the Freep has always been a very fine representative for the m when it comes to casting aspersions on MSU. But I do believe that (m) has a history of using grammar in a different manner, when m public infor… (er the Freep) report a story regarding an m athlete. As a case in point, Freep describe Fitz’s Folly, July 21st, as:

      “Driving a white Ford F-150, he was stopped after he disregarded***** a red light at the intersection, a Saline police news release stated after the arrest. Saline officers made the arrest because they were sharing patrol with the Ann Arbor department that night. AnnArbor.com reported there was a pellet gun in the car at the time of Toussaint’s arrest, but Lupi said there will be no charges other than the drunken-driving charge.”
      * A 5 star player deserves a 5* word

      Had this not been the Freep, I’m sure the headline would have been: Armed (MSU, OSU, ND) football player charged with drunken driving (OWI) & failure to stop, after driving through a red light.. What a nice word, “disregarded” is, don’t you think???

  18. avatar Gho of Biggie says:

    George is a columnist now it appears. Sliding into the departed ones spot along side the empty Sharpie.

  19. avatar Mishsparty says:

    Different subject, does anybody know if the MSU b-ball ’12 and ’13 schedule is available yet? Even the B1G batch.

  20. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Guy this gets no publicity as division 2 just shows you talking heads not really concerned about abuse, just how many viewers will read

    s for mankato coach arrested
    MSU-Mankato coach arrested in child porn case
    Minneapolis Star Tribune‎ – 10 hours ago
    The head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was arrested and jailed Tuesday afternoon on allegations that he had

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      All the talking heads want is ratings and Mankato State has no WOW factor, except that a very good friend of mine who just retired as FMFLant went there.

      • avatar Spartan 81 says:

        Yeah, but Chris Solari has small town roots cut his teeth in Sioux Falls so I thought he might read the story as Solari has not gone Hollywood on us yet.

  21. avatar GoSt8Go says:

    Congrats to Hayes. Runs like Hayes?

  22. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    So wishy-washy….why is it so difficult to make a decision and stick to it:


    Grow a pair and be a coach, Hokey Pokey!!

  23. avatar Spartydoobydoo says:

    Michigan’s gonna practice at Ford Field to get ready for next weekends game in Dallas……yeah, because being prepared for the “atmosphere” is what wins football games!!

    Good luck simulating the real threat, which is the Alabama football team!!

  24. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Hey did Joe do an article today on the chemisty between Solari and Calloway?

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