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Is the Spartan Nation Becoming QB U?

The quarterback competition at the spring game will be examined to death. Michigan State returns Kirk Cousins, a sophomore and the presumed number one who looks to be a poised, steady presence in the pocket. Coach Mark Dantonio would be comfortable letting Cousins steer the ship were the season to begin tomorrow.


Keith Nichol, the sophomore from Lowell who will be eligible to play this season after transferring from Oklahoma, is making the competition tight. If Cousins' pro style demeanor is number 1, Nichol's mobility and overall signal-calling talent make him an easy 1A.


But if you're a Spartan fan, the fierce battle for precious playing time is exactly what you want to see. And it should keep coming.


Andrew Maxwell will be on campus this fall, upping the caliber of the QB position at MSU one notch higher. The nationally lauded quarterback speaks humbly but carries a gun of an arm. His presence in East Lansing — whether it's running the scout team or battling for PT — will be a valuable addition.


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And the year after that, if plan A pans out for 2010's recruiting class, a similar battle to this season's showdown between Nichol and Cousins could play out. On the sidelines at this weekend's Green and White spring game, Robert Bolden, the Orchard Lake St. Mary's teammate of Spartan commit Dion Sims, will be watching the action closely.Â


The top player on MSU's QB wish list, Bolden might just get to give State fans déjà vu all over again in the coming years if he were to be competing against Maxwell. Not only would the competition drive both players closer to greatness, the option it gives coaching staffs to open up the playbook is intriguing.


This year, talk of option formations have surfaced with Nichol in the backfield. But even if MSU doesn't reincarnate the Nebraska speed option, just having mobility in your passer brings an important dynamic to the field. Two words: Drew Stanton.


Bolden could be in line to move the Spartan offense in just a few short years. He can make plays with his legs, and although he hasn't thrown the skin off the ball in high school, he's an efficient passer who makes good decisions. Watching the contest between Nichol and Cousins this season might not be a harbinger of things to come, but it will give the observant fan something to think about through the dog days of summer, when Maxwell will be moving into his dorm and Bolden will surely reappear in town for summer camps.Â


Bolden just picked up an offer (one of many) from Penn State, so the interest is there from other major programs. Bolden has visited MSU in the past, and has built a relationship with the staff, but nothing is certain in the fickle game of recruiting. One thing is for certain: with a good impression this weekend, MSU will make the competition for Bolden's services that much stiffer. And in the sport of college football, between the stripes and off the gridiron, competition is the name of the game.