Michigan State remains in a four-man race at quarterback, but Mark Dantonio said he thinks he knows who will play against Western Michigan on August 30.
“I think I know,” Dantonio said. “But I just think, in all fairness to them, they should be the people that, I should talk to them first.”
Dantonio said he expects the decision will be made Monday, but those who play will need to prove themselves moving forward.
“I would say all the decisions are going to be made as to who is going to play,” he said. “Now, once they get the green light to play, they have to assert themselves on the field to maintain. That means we only have one more practice from now. … We will have a better answer after Monday, after watching this a little bit and talking amongst ourselves and things like that.”
The race became a four-man competition when freshman Damion Terry put on a show in Saturday’s scrimmage. Dantonio emphasized the big learning curve for Terry and that the Spartans won’t play someone if it is decided that he isn’t ready.
“You know, he’s a freshman,” Dantonio said. “So, he makes plays and then he takes a step back. But the learning curve is big for him. Every opportunity he gets, he’s gonna gain more confidence and get a lot of value out of those reps. So we just keep working him and see how it goes.
”This is summer camp, we’ve got four quarterbacks as I’ve said, and he put himself into that race last Saturday. So consistency is the most important thing, and we’ll continue to see if he has that or not. But we’re not gonna play a guy if he’s not ready. I don’t think we should do that to a young man.”
Dantonio said sophomore Connor Cook and redshirt freshman Tyler O’Connor have been getting the same amount of opportunities and that both “flash.”
”That’s the thing sometimes maybe a coach you see a guy flash, you want to see the consistency over a period of time,” Dantonio said. “Connor Cook flashes, there is no question. He is big, he’s powerful and he can throw the football. Then Tyler O’Connor’s a redshirt freshman. He can move around with the ball in the pocket, but it’s about decision making at quarterback and it’s about creating on a consistent basis.”
Dantonio said a couple quarterbacks were made live in Thursday’s rehearsal scrimmage.
”I think we have to do that because that’s what they’re lacking, especially a young freshman,” Dantonio said. “He is lacking that ability to go and play at game speed when it’s live. You gotta provide that for him. I’m not a big fan of it, but I think with this football team at this time, we had to do some of these things because of the situation we were put in a little bit at quarterback because we had two young quarterbacks that needed reps and because of, I think quite honestly, because of the situation Andrew was thrown in last season. So, we’ve got depth at that position, so let’s let them play and see who comes out of it.”