The roller coaster that is the Michigan State quarterback position continues today, with a player of the future inching closer to becoming the player of the here and now.
Officially, the Spartans are right back to where they were a week and a half before the start of the 2013 season, with four quarterbacks listed as co-starters on the most recent depth chart. This comes after Andrew Maxwell, last season’s starter as well as the starter for the season opener, fell behind Connor Cook and Tyler O’Connor, with the former starting the second game of the season last Saturday.
While Cook is expected to start again this weekend against Youngstown State — he’s getting significant reps with the first-team offense — head coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday that true freshman Damion Terry will be getting work with the No. 2 offense during practice today. Terry has been dealing with an injured thumb as well as a case of strep throat, which put the kibosh on a plan to make him part of last week’s game plan.
Dantonio, though, said Terry “deserves an opportunity” to help settle a position that’s been anything but not only this season but last.
Last season, MSU finished 85th in the country at 209.9 yards passing per game; through two games this season, they’re 117th (105 ypg). The Spartans have yet to throw a touchdown pass this season.
Whether Terry is the answer or is to be determined, although, in all honesty, he couldn’t possibly be much worse. A four-star member of MSU’s 2013 recruiting class, he was rated as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the country.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah