With so much depth the Spartans are getting quality reps in practice and that makes them better. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

News, Notes, and Thoughts from Spartan Football

 

Hondo, is it settled that Fonoit (Fou) and Dan France are officially going to battle for the LT spot?  Drew

Not at all Drew.  Fonoti and France will battle, but so will Skyler Schofner who has an outside shot at the LT also.  From those three will come your LT and RT.  Jared McGaha will also be in the mix, but unfortunately for him and fortunately for the program he can play all four spots (OT and OG both sides), and I just don’t think he will get the reps to grab either.  The percentages say that Fonoti and France will battle for LT, but with Schofner doing so well and essentially being the heir apparent, we shall see.  Can’t wait for spring.

 

Hondo, I heard you talk on your radio show that Cousins has done a great job and even done more than some on the staff expected.  Did they not like him at first?  Matt

Matt, I am sorry if that was how you took it.  Coming in with Nick Foles and then Keith Nichol I had more than one (certainly not all) of the staff tell me how much they liked him and how great of a kid he was.  I had more than one tell me their expectations and it wasn’t what he has done.  All of them rooted for him to do well, but some of them certainly didn’t see this.  This staff and this team not only like Kirk, they respect him.  He has earned it.  Nothing has been easy for him with football and each and every time he has won what he got.  You have to love that.

 

Hondo, loved the article about Garrett Celek in this month’s magazine.  I think your feature articles and your analysis rock.  I would love to see a feature story on William Gholston?  Terri in Portage

Terry, I am sure you will, but not soon.  I know William very well and have interviewed him many times and shown snippets, but he already gets a lot of press.  Like his head coach, he understands that it is part of the job, but he doesn’t crave it.  If he has the season I expect you will see one probably next year.  I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that he is a super person.

 

Hondo, I really enjoyed your analysis about the running backs last week, how all are good, but Baker is the number one.  Can you give us an idea of what makes the big three of Baker, Bell, and Caper good?  Dan

Edwin “ROCK” Baker is a one cut and gone player.  He isn’t a dancer.  He is compact and fast.  The quicker he makes his cut and turns on the after burners he is out of here.  What makes him special is that he has great patience and waits to make that cut with superb balance and vision.  Larry Caper is an Eric Dickerson type-back with frankly better hands.  He runs more upright, can dance, and just finds a way to get to open space.  LeVeon Bell is a bulldozer.  Although not as big as Jerome Bettis, he has those skills.  He gets to the hole and runs over people.  Let me explain.  Edwin Baker had somewhere in the neighborhood of a 55-yard TD run against Notre Dame last year in which he got the ball and essentially no one touched him.  LeVeon had a several long runs in which multiple people touched him and he ran over them.  All three are truly gifted and talented, and all three are unique and different.

Hondo I know that you are close to Don Treadwell personally and that you also really like Dan Roushar.  Can you give an honest assessment and say if you think Roushar will be better?  Kristin

Kristin, this is a great question.  I am very good friends with Tread and I do have great respect for Roushar.  I will say this.  Is the high school teacher that takes a student and teaches them physics and chemistry a “better” teacher than the first grade educator who taught them addition?  Of course not.  Both have their time in that child’s life.  When Treadwell got to MSU he gave this program exactly what it needed.  Do I think had he stayed he could take this team to the next level?  Without a doubt.  I also know that this program is ready for some different schemes and looks and frankly some ideas, and I think you will see those from Roushar.  Not because Tread couldn’t, but because it is time to do it and he is here.  I will share this.  Mark Dantonio, as you can imagine, has a major impact on the direction of the offensive schemes.  You saw when he was out that Tread did do some things differently.   I will tell you this.  Not a slam on Tread, but I fully expect the best offense that the Spartans have had yet under Dantonio and could be a record setting campaign for one of the best in the illustrious history of the Spartan Nation.

 

Hondo, I have heard you mention Johnny Adams many times and it seems you are not high on him.  Do you not like him?  Caleb

Caleb, I am sorry you feel that way.  Johnny makes plays…great plays, but he also has a major liability with his size.  You saw in the Alabama game he was manhandled by bigger wide receivers and run over.  He also missed several opportunities last season to make big interceptions when they were essentially thrown right at him.  Johnny is a very good player, when you are undersized and you get a ball thrown into your hands (twice against Notre Dame), you have to make those catches.  He makes the spectacular and at times struggles with the easy one.  With his size being such a major concern he has to compensate and master the mundane.  He is a very good player and after an amazing spring should compete for All Big Ten in 2011.  Sometimes when you have to give analysis for a living, people take that as not liking someone and I simply wouldn’t answer your email if that were the case.

 

 

Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the Saturday column.  If you aren’t aware, on Saturday mornings I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan football.  If you have a MSU football question you would like answered send me an email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com