Reaves dismissed from MSU squad

SI editor
Posted May 10, 2005


The Michigan State career of quarterback Stephen Reaves is over. The prized recruit from Plant City, FL has left the team after off-field incidents and on-field performance made him expendable.

(EAST LANSING) - Sophomore quarterback Stephen Reaves has been dismissed from the Michigan State football program effective immediately.

Reaves, who on April 29th, was charged driving by authorities with driving while under the influence of alcohol, requested and was granted his release from his scholarship at Michigan State, school sources confirmed.

Michigan State spokesman John Lewandowski also confirmed that Reaves has been released from his obligation to the University. "His request for a release has been granted," Lewandowski told the media today.

Reaves, the son of former NFL great John Reaves, arrived at Michigan State with much fanfare. Some thought that Reaves would be the heir-apparent to current St. Louis Rams quarterback and former Spartan standout Jeff Smoker as the next MSU starting quarterback.

But Reaves, who got a shot at the starting job after sophomore Drew Stanton suffered an injury in the 2003 season ending Alamo Bowl loss to Nebraska, struggled to move the team. In his first career start he went 9-of-19 for 183 yards with a touchdown in a win over Central Michigan, but couldn't hold off the returning Stanton for the starting job.

Once Stanton cemented his status as the team's starting quarterback, Reaves made noises about transferring to either Florida or South Carolina, but decided to stay in East Lansing after shopping around. He drew the ire of coach John L. Smith for his tepid play in spring practices and there were also reports of the southpaw quarterback struggling academically.

None of that sat well with coach Smith, who then threatened to elevate true freshman Dominic Natale to the backup position behind Stanton after Reaves and sophomore Brian Hoyer were unimpressive in the Spartans spring game.

"You almost start thinking, we've given enough snaps to Reaves, we've given enough snaps to Hoyer, maybe we're going to give more to Natale at this point. That's about how disgusted I am," Smith said at the time about his backup quarterbacks' play.

When Reaves fell into off-field problems yet again, with report of his arrest by East Lansing police on April 28th, that appears to have been the last straw and put an end to his MSU career.

Reaves could elect to transfer to South Carolina after all under new head coach Steve Spurrier or to one of the minor Florida schools like South Florida, Central Florida.

Wake Forest also was interested in the left-hander before he signed a letter of intent with Michigan State.


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