Scouting Report: Quarterback Depth An Issue

Freshman Dixon likely backup to Hoyer

Quarterback will be a position of concern for Spartan fans this fall. Brian Hoyer (6-3, 212, Jr.) returns from a backup role as the undeniable starter.

EAST LANSING - Quarterback will be a position of concern for Spartan fans this fall. Brian Hoyer (6-3, 212, Jr.) returns from a backup role as the undeniable starter.

Perhaps the biggest question facing Hoyer will be his ability to learn a new system after he was recruited to lead John L. Smith's fast break offense.

But with Dantonio and offensive coordinator Don Treadwell planning to keep things simple and straightforward with a strong running game, Hoyer will be given the opportunity to excel. Keeping mistakes to a minimum within a ball control scheme should allow Hoyer to lead a potent attack with three experienced running backs to hand the ball to.

Also, with the overall reduction of passing opportunities in the balanced offensive philosophy Dantonio and Treadwell bring to the Spartans, the team should keep turnovers to a minimum.

The spread offense is all well and good, as the Spartans showed in flashes with Smith. But with the ball in the air so much, the chances for mistakes increase. The new regime's philosophical shift is something Spartan fans, let alone Hoyer as the primary signal caller, should appreciate.

Depth at quarterback will also be an issue on the gridiron this season. Connor Dixon (6-4, 191, Fr.) helped assay some of those fears with a strong spring game. He led the White squad to a 21-8 victory with 10-12, 105 yard, 1 TD performance. Dixon's performance, behind a productive running attack, seemed to be a prototype for what Green and White fans should expect from their QB's in the new system.

Clay Charles (6-1, 199, So.) took reps with the second team throughout the spring. He will continue to compete with Dixon for snaps as the number 2 QB.

Being outshined by Dixon in the spring game will not effect Hoyer's status as the first string QB. In an MSU release, Coach Dantonio pointed to Hoyer's intangibles as a strength for the Spartans.

"I really like Brian's presence in the huddle; he's definitely in control." Dantonio said. "He's got a great arm, and he's demonstrated poise in the pocket."

If he can stay healthy and minimize mistakes, Hoyer will have the opportunity lead a streamlined offense to a productive season.

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