Up Close with MSU lineman Mike Gyetvai

Up Close with MSU lineman Mike Gyetvai

Gyetvai was pressed into action a season ago against Rutgers and wasn't happy with the results. He re-dedicated himself to improving his footwork, his technique and his all around game. He credits his work with senior guard Gordon Niebylski as a key factor in his improvement from year two to year three.

Junior offensive lineman Mike Gyetvai of Sandwich ONT., has become an integral part of the Michigan State offensive line.

Gyetvai was pressed into action a season ago against Rutgers and wasn't happy with the results. He re-dedicated himself to improving his footwork, his technique and his all around game. He credits his work with senior tackle Gordon Niebylski as a key factor in his improvement from year two to year three.

GoSpartans.net caught up with Gyetvai and talked to him in-depth about his progress this offseason, how he and his teammates have gelled together and what fans can expect from the Michigan State offense in general and the offensive line in particular.

GSN: How good do you think this line can be?
Gyetvai: "I've been asked that question before. On paper...I mean it looks great, but you never know until you get out there and actually put everyone to the test. We're missing two great guys from last year. How do you replace Shawn Poole and Will Whittacker? That's really tough but we're just going to have to try and do it."

GSN:Is the line adding more talented players but giving up experience?
Gyetvai: "I guess you could kind of say that, (laughs) that's kind of a difficult question."

GSN:How are you a more confident player?
Gyetvai: "It's just knowledge of the game, my knowledge of the game last year wasn't as [good]. I had some flaws in my techniques, I guess you could say which made me at time say 'Man, I don't know if I can block this guy.' I've gotten that straightened out.

GSN: What exactly did you straighten out?
Gyetvai: "I was, like, lunging in my pass protection and things like that. Now, I'm [letting them come to me] and keeping my head up. I'm not saying I'm 110% cured, but it's better."

GSN:What was the experience like when he was thrown into the Rutgers game unexpectedly last year?
Gyetvai: "That was awful. I look back at that and [you] think about the highs and lows of your career, right? I'm gonna say that was definitely a low."

GSN:How difficult is it to play in a spread offense with a quarterback that likes to run?
Gyetvai: "It's one of those things that you have to work at it and you just have to learn the scheme of the offense. When you come in here and you're a freshman... I mean it's nothing like high school, the way the players flow to the ball and everything. It just takes time, that's it."

GSN:This isn't rocket science is it?
Gyetvai: You can't be stupid (laughs), I'll say that much. You can't be completely clueless.

GSN:Did he have to learn to be less agressive to combat defenses that use an agressive scheme against MSU?
Gyetvai: "Yeah, you can't 'fire out' at the guy, you kind of have to let him come to you. Be patient, don't get over-agressive because then he'll go around you."

GSN:If Rutgers was the low, was is the high point of his career? Getting the starting job?
Gyetvai: "Yeah, well getting the starting job isn't etched in stone either. Jesse Miller is a great player, Pete Clifford is behind me. A lot of guys like that, so nothing's for sure."

GSN:How do you think you were playing at the end of the season, say, at the Hawaii game?
Gyetvai: "It was improved, but I was not as good as I am know, obviously."

GSN:How good does he think he can be?
"We're just going to have to wait and see."

GSN:How is the offensive line developing?
Gyetvai: "We're getting familar with their defense, just simple things like that. I think we've definitely made some huge steps. I mean the more time you have to prep for a team kinda can be the better. I mean you get more comfortable with everything."

GSN:How about individually?
Gyetvai: "I feel very comfortable. Coach Stoutland does an excellent job of picking out signs of what's going to happen before the ball snaps. I listen to him and try to do what he tells me. It usually works out for the best."

GSN:How much of a factor is he to the offensive line with new players joining the playing group?
Gyetvai: "Gordie's [Niebylski] is not really new. But, yeah, you've got to live up to the other four. I've got four guys down the line who are just tremendous players. I mean they're all looking down at me and saying 'Let's go "Gev", you've got to run with us now,' so it can be kinda nervous at times. [but] playing next to Gordie Niebylski, he's spectacular and he's just a tremendously smart player. He always helps you out if you get a little baffled, he'll say 'oh, its no problem, just kinda do this."

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