Mark Dantonio has told me before that he likes to have four QBs on scholarship. That protects the team against injury in the very physical Big Ten and keeps a stable of young men capable of running the most important position on any football team. It also allows for a healthy competition, which is something the Spartan staff wants at every position.
The Spartans had to gamble last season. With Keith Nichol sitting out on a transfer season from Oklahoma, they had Brian Hoyer and only Kirk Cousins as a backup. They could have taken another QB last season, but it would have been someone that they werenâ€™t in love with and it would have placed too many QBs on the roster and not spread out over their years. So they rolled the dice and Brian Hoyerâ€™s toughness and reliability allowed Kirk Cousins to get experience, but they had no major injuries.
Now comes the 2009 season. Not only are Cousins and Nichol battling it out, but a very talented, big-armed youngster from Midland, Andrew Maxwell will be on hand to play in an emergency situation and thus giving the Spartans three very talented QBs.
That still doesnâ€™t get the Spartans to the magical number of four, so the Spartans are trying to address that need with the 2010 recruiting class. We have written here at Spartan Nation about Orchard Lake Saint Maryâ€™s Robert Bolden. He is a multi-talented QB that the Spartans really like. He has had an offer in hand for some time and has acquired multiple offers from many good schools.
Ideally, following the Izzo pattern, Mark Dantonio would like to stay close to home when getting recruits. They see taking care of the home area as the number one priority. They wonâ€™t, however, allow dust to gather and as Bolden takes his time to pick a school, they have now added Wheaton Illinois QB Taylor Graham to the mix. The Spartans have made an offer to the big (6â€™4 Â½â€) strong-armed QB and he spent Thursday night in town and Friday on campus for the Spartans one-day camp.
With Grahamâ€™s size and surprising mobility, the Spartans could add the youngster to the stable of fine QBs. Last weekend, Graham got an offer from UCLA and according to a source close to Graham, â€œI think that a chance to play for offensive coordinator Norm Chow who is a quarterback genius sure is appealing about UCLA, but at the same time MSU is close to home and that staff and all that they offer sure is appealing. I would suspect him to make a decision sooner rather than later and he really likes MSU.â€
The Spartans are making a big push for Graham or Bolden, and look for the race for the Spartan QB spot on the 2010 class to heat up. The Spartans already have two commitments in hand for the 2010 class. Traverse City Saint Francis MLB Max Bullough and Detroit Crockett's Tony Lippett, and you can look for that number to grow as the dog days of summer progress.