The days are counting down before Michigan State begins preparing for their season opener against Boise State. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio still has several battles going on but also knows he’s got depth in other areas.
One battle ongoing continues to be at safety.
“I would say that we need to tackle, and we need to tackle consistently,” said Dantonio. “They’ve got ball skills; they’ve got great athletic ability. So it’s a day-to-day type thing. It shows that we have depth at that position. I think that Jairus Jones has had a great summer camp thus far, he’s got experience.
“R.J. Williamson, who is a red-shirt freshman and Kurtis Drummond has experience, and then you have Demetrious Cox, who is an excellent freshman. Even Arjen Colquhoun has worked in there and has made some big plays the last couple of days. I think it’s a good situation in there, and then obviously you’ve got Isaiah Lewis, who is very solid.”
Adding to the secondary is depth at cornerback and a few surprises.
“After the two starters (Johnny Adams and Darqueze Dennard), Mitchell White is solid,” said Dantonio. “He’s been in the program for five years, so he knows things conceptually and schematically very well. Trae Waynes is a very good player. I think that of our freshman, Ezra Robinson is a guy that looks like he could possibly play this year. We’ll try and redshirt him, but he’s got skills. I think that right now Arjen Colquhoun has had a very good summer camp and is working both corner and safety. He’s a guy that enrolled here over a year ago, so he’s still a red-shirt freshman, but he’s making plays out there. He’s a very good athlete.”
What about Robinson is Dantonio impressed with?
“He’s got great ball skills,” said Dantonio. “Very intelligent player for a freshman on the field. He’s not afraid to go get it. He competes. We tested our guys when they walked in the door, and he was a 10 4 ½ standing long jump guy and a 34-inch vertical guy. He’s got skills and he’s got explosiveness. He’s a bigger guy – he’s 6-foot.”
While not in a battle for the starting quarterback job, Andrew Maxwell continues to progress and impress his head coach.
“I think he was very sharp yesterday,” said Dantonio. “I sort of lose track-two days ago seems like a week ago – but I think he’s been very sharp. He’s got a great handle on our offense. He continues to lead, which is so important for a quarterback. He’s steady and very calm under pressure.”
The Spartans will hold their second jersey scrimmage of the preseason Saturday and while the defense won the first won, don’t be surprised if the offense has a better showing at the end of the day.