Andrew Maxwell will be a star for the Spartans and has turned a lot of heads this spring.

Andrew Maxwell will be a star for the Spartans and has turned a lot of heads this spring.

 

 

If you’re not a die-hard Michigan State football fan, or only tend to watch games here and there during the season, you may have no idea who Andrew Maxwell is.

 

Let me fill you in: He is the Spartans’ quarterback-in-waiting as Kirk Cousins is set to enter his senior season as signal caller; Rivals ranked him in the top ten of pro-style quarterbacks when he was coming out of high school; a myriad of publications named him one of the top five best seniors coming out of high school; he set 14 high school records.

 

But that was then and this is a new type of player. Maxwell has improved his game since coming to Michigan State in 2009 and being red-shirted as a freshman. While waiting in the wings and being part of the team’s “second tier” of players who don’t see the field quite as often, he and those younger guys still work hard for the time they will eventually see on the field in the future.

 

“We’ve got work to do and there’s always going to be work to do, so we have a lot of things to improve over the summer,” Maxwell said. “Guys are young, guys are gonna learn, guys are gonna get better. I’m just excited to see the improvement we’ve made from practice one to now and then we can carry that into next year.”

 

Over the course of the spring, head coach Mark Dantonio has applauded Maxwell’s work ethic and has said he has played at a very high level. Maxwell is, of course, the future of the Spartans’ offense when Cousins graduates and will be expected to come in and understand the offensive system and all the nooks and crannies which are associated with it.

 

Maxwell has seen increased playing time against many of the starters, both in practice and in the spring game last weekend. He has also seen time in games that have mattered, such as filling in for an injured Cousins at Purdue and getting some throws in against Alabama in the Capital One Bowl.

 

“I feel like I took some steps in the right direction (this spring),” Maxwell admitted. “I feel like I took a step in the leadership direction. The one goal the quarterback coach (Dave Warner) gave me this spring, he said, ‘You need to step up and improve your leadership. On the field this spring, make a jump in that.’

 

“That’s what I’ve focused on every practice, sort of stepping out of my normal comfort zone and being more of a vocal guy on the field. I still have a long way to go but it’s an area I’ve made a lot of improvement on.”

 

Maxwell seems to understand that football is won in different phases: the mentally capacity to retain information and use it to one’s advantage, the physical attributes which can let a player overpower someone else, and the sheer determination to work harder than anybody else and win. Yes, Kirk Cousins’ successor seems to have a very good head on his shoulders. Now we just have to wait and see how his smarts will one day correlate to being quarterback of the Michigan State Spartans.