The War Room:  Go Inside #5 Michigan State Football

I get a lot of nuggets and information that alone are not big enough for a story.  When I have a few that I can assemble together I will, and when I only have one or two I will post them on our Phalanx Forum board.  So welcome to The War Room.

  • My comments on Jon Reschke certainly stirred a lot of attention. I was made aware of this possibility some time ago, but knowing something and determining if it is wise to report it is another.
  • That brings me to another point. Some people get an inkling or a sliver of truth and run to the nearest message board to report it.  That is why we are so careful on our message board.  There was a ton of speculation about if he was coming back or why he left that wasn’t healthy for the program and much (not all) was not truthful.
  • Cam Chambers had a very good spring. A great spring in fact.  Coach Terry Samuel explained why he thinks he took a step to the next level this spring and credit him for his candor.  “I think the biggest thing with Cam is that maybe I (Coach Samuel) got off him a little bit and just said, hey dude, I trust you, go play. Relax, go play. You don’t got to worry about trying to impress me, go play.”
  • Cam Chambers told Spartan Nation of his emergence, “I can get out there and play X, Z, and F, I can do everything on the field as far as the receiver position. I showed that consistently. I run good routes from the slot and just been consistent and continue to build a relationship with Brian (QB Lewerke) so things have been going pretty well.”
  • WR Bennie Fowler is signing a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears. Good for him.  Wonderful young man.
  • Mark Dantonio summed his defensive line concerns with six decisive words: “Hopefully they are gonna get pressure.”  AMEN!
  • Josiah Scott told Spartan Nation of the play of Grayson Miller as he moved from S to LB, “I feel like I can count on him every time I look out there, and he’s on my side.” He went on to add, “That’s a real good piece him moving to linebacker because he knows how a defensive back will feel in different situations.”
  • Mike Tressel the DC had more high praise for Miller and what he communicated to him, “(Grayson Miller) told me he’d rather bang his head against a 300-pound man than have to run with 4.4 guy in the vertical.”
  • Miller is a great kid, but his tough as nails play on the field along with his being a great guy off the field are why his teammates love him.
  • Miller explained to me that what he is missing right now is not toughness, it is simply repping at his new position. “That just comes with more reps and something I’ll continue to work on all summer and take it into the fall.”
  • I have raved about OL Kevin Jarvis since he committed to MSU. He had a great freshman campaign and Dantonio loved his spring.
  • Coach D said, “What I saw was good snap, good power, especially from guys like Kevin Jarvis, I thought he played extremely well.”
  • That is high praise from a Coach that doesn’t use hyperbole.
  • Dantonio also added of starting center Matt Allen and his starting OL that, “Did a nice job at the offensive center position. I thought that for a spring game, spring situation, they played pretty well on the 1’s.”
  • Dantonio WAS NOT as complimentary of the second string offensive line. “The 2’s got some work to do.”
  • Oh and for those thinking there is a battle right now on the pre-fall depth chart Dantonio made that pretty clear right now: “I think Matt right now, he’s the one.”
  • Dantonio tried to sum up the way the mold an offensive line saying, “We’ll move people around in there and roll people around, and at the end of the day we’ve got to get the job done.”
  • On Cody White Terrence Samuel talked about when he knew that the young Spartan player had star potential, “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a guy that was questioning me so much about the offense.”
  • Think about how much White emerged. After the Michigan State staff accepted the reality that the Hunter Rison experiment was a failure, look at how his production jumped.  He had five catches for 50 yards in the first half (six games) of 2017. In the last seven games, he had 30 catches for 440 yards and four touchdowns.  He has star power written all over him.
  • Samuel also told Spartan Nation of White, “He’s an exceptional individual with the way he attacked it.”
  • Cody White flashed his usual smile and simply said of his improving play and the reason why, “I would just say confidence, believing in myself, get with the quarterback, make sure he has faith in me.”

  • Dave Warner is looking at using Cody White as a weapon in 2018. He is exploring a lot of different programs and how they create ways to get the ball in the hand of playmakers.  I am really encouraged to learn of how hard Warner is working this spring at getting points.  White can certainly help.
  • Warner said, “There might be some things in there for him, but he’s going to line up at receiver, he’s going to be our go-to guy.”
  • Mike Panasiuk’s offseason has been well documented. How has he changed his body?  He told me, “I tried putting down the junk food and trying to get that extra conditioning so I can be out there for the important plays, in that fourth quarter when they really need us up front to stop the run or get that pass rush.”

  • Every year since 1941, a Spartan has been selected in the NFL Draft. That is important for the Spartans.  I suspect it will continue, but that is not a given.  Something to keep an eye on this weekend.
  • After the Spartan Pro Day, I said that Gerald Holmes had done nothing to hurt himself. I can tell you that several people that are part of this program felt he was underused last year.  I agree.
  • That said Holmes showed all of his athleticism and talent and an NFL legend Tweeted about it.
  • NFL ICON Gil Brandt has some high praise for Gerald Holmes. He praised Holmes after his Pro Day:  One non-combine invite from @MSU_Football on NFL radar after his 3/23 pro day:  RB Gerald Holmes (6-0 1/8, 221) 4.71/4.63 40, 35 VJ, 10-8 BJ, 4.38 ss, 7.00 3cn, 17 lifts.
  • Tyler Higby is playing five spots in practice for the Spartans. Mark Staten the offensive line coach loves to tinker and each year he has a Swiss Army knife player.  Listen to the praise he has for Higby, “I’ve been putting Higby out at some tackle and that’s an interesting scenario that could pay dividends.”  You already knew Higby was an interior guy (LG, C, RG) and now playing the tackle spot.
  • Speaking of Staten, he loves the spring and said, “I move them around because they have to know what everybody is doing on every play. That’s been fun as well and seeing those guys accept their roles where they’re at.”
  • It is my intention to have a WAR ROOM article between now and Mid July (Prior to Big Ten Media Days) about every two weeks. Once we reach B1G Media Days that will return to a weekly feature unless information warrants it.

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