While many felt the Spartans changes to a 3-4 defensive scheme were to help get William Gholston on the field, the truth of the matter showed up as the talented freshman is making the move to defensive end. While this is a good move for both Gholston and the Spartans defense, there is still a chance the Spartans could place Gholston as an outside backer in some situations.
As many are learning, this is the way Dantonio likes change to happen. Over the years I have watched as he has allowed quarterbacks learn their wide receivers and receivers learn they are better suited to be defensive backs. For William Gholston to tell the staff he's a defensive end means this kid is more mature than we all really knew.
Freshman Showing Promise
While Mark Dantonio is very pleased with several freshmen, Isaiah Lewis and Darqueze Dennard seem to have caught the coaches eye and for good reason. While Coach D talks often that he is not a defensive coach, his heart is and has always been with the defensive backs. For Lewis and Dennard to continue to get the praise they have means only one thing. They are really going to be good players in the years to come. The last time I have seen Coach D this excited about a defensive back was when he was at Cincinnati and freshman defensive back Mike Mickens. Mickens ended up being a four-year starter at UC and an All-American.
The Growth of Kirk Cousins Continues
When a player knows someone is over his shoulder he presses. This year will find a more relaxed Kirk Cousins as he knows he is the person in charge of the Spartans offense. While it's good to have a player feel he's being pushed, it also can make some come up short in their development and overall ability to play at their highest level. Cousins has shown more confidence since the spring and continues to grow and build with each practice. How good can he be? I think we are about to find out that Cousins is an elite signal caller.
Running With Power
The Spartans are loaded at running back and this is going to pay huge dividends this fall as not only can the Spartans beat a team on the outside, they can power run the ball with one of the biggest backs in the Big Ten. Le'Veon Bell may still be learning some of the smaller things about the college game, but you cannot take away his physical size and skills. Bell is another example of Dantonio and his staff doing a great job of looking at players not on the major radar of most colleges.
Flip A Coin
Will Dantonio find a need to flip a coin when deciding on who will be the Spartans kicker? The one position battle that may be unsettled up to kickoff is between Dan Conroy and Kevin Muma. Both players have seen their difficulties and success and seem to be even at this time. Dantonio claimed there was still plenty of time before the season opener against Western Michigan to make a choice, and while I am sure the staff would like to have a clear-cut favorite, kicker is the one position you can go up until the last minute to make the call.
Not Worried About The Left Side
As Coach D told the media, the left side of the offensive line looks solid with Joel Foreman and D.J. Young. Add in the center position and the Spartans are 3/5 of the way to having a solid group. Battles are still ongoing for the right side of the line and should play themselves out in the coming days, as the coaches will look to start and build some chemistry between the five guys responsible to open holes and protect Kirk Cousins.