What was a three-horse race at quarterback for Michigan State now has four.
Mark Dantonio said this morning that true freshman Damion Terry is now in the picture at quarterback for the Spartans following his strong showing at Saturday’s closed scrimmage.
“What we have seen is that he made plays in the scrimmage, he throws a good ball, he made plays with his feet,” Dantonio said. “That’s all you can assess. At the beginning of the scrimmage it was a three-horse race. And at the end of the scrimmage it was a four-horse race. I think that’s the fair thing to assess right now. Tom Izzo plays a freshman point guard all the time. All the time. When that guy asserts himself and takes control of the basketball team, that’s the guy who’s going to play. I don’t care whether he’s a senior, sophomore, junior, redshirt freshman or freshman. That’s the best thing to do. Damion has to prove consistency in performance, the other guys have to move the ball with more consistency, and they’ve got to break away from their own three-man race.”
Dantonio said Terry did well as the scrimmage progressed Saturday. Terry started with the threes, then played with the twos and then with the ones during the scrimmage.
“It’s not that complicated,” Dantonio said. “You’re going to play the guys that move the football down the field, that don’t mistakes, that can create. I’ve said that all along. He demonstrated that. I hate to say that it’s a four-man race or anything like that. There’s obviously differences in terms of who has the most knowledge and things of that nature. This is about consistency over a period of time, but you have to give people the opportunities and I’ve said that all along. I think that it’s refreshing, no pun intended, when a freshman gets an opportunity because it proves that what we say is correct. We’re going to give everybody an opportunity. We’re going to try to be very consistent and fair about this in all respects.”
Dantonio said he’d like to see Terry, senior Andrew Maxwell, sophomore Connor Cook and redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor each get reps with the ones and twos this week as they look to find more clarity in the quarterback race.
“I said that before that I was very excited about our quarterback opportunities because I think we have four major college quarterbacks,” Dantonio said. “And they can all throw it, they all have size and ability. The bottom line is what do they do to be successful on the field and the best way to handle that is by past experiences and then also by what’s happening currently in scrimmage situations.”