The Legacy of Brian Hoyer

Hondo S. Carpenter

The Legacy of Brian Hoyer

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I hate Senior Day at MSU. I never really thought about it until I got an e-mail last week, but I do. I admit (my critics will rip me for this) that as I sat in the press box watching the players say goodbye, I had tears in my eyes.

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One Spartan that is on his way out is Brian Hoyer. This young man leaves with a legacy firmly entrenched and it is a good one.

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Hoyer came to MSU as a gunslinger from Ohio, and he leaves having had one of the most successful careers in MSU history. I shake my head sometimes as I read the e-mail and messages people blindly and anonymously post about the young man, but my story is different. Mine comes from a different angle.

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Hoyer’s completion percentage is not as good as he or anyone would like it. That is a fact. It is a fact that causes so many people to berate a young man that has done nothing but succeed in his two years as a starter and win. That is right…win! The thing that baffles me is that he gets ripped and he wins. Now don’t get me wrong, I can be critical with the best, but that never has bothered Brian. It is the hate, the ridicule and the maligning that not only should a young man not get who has done nothing but operate with class, and has done it with a smile.

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On top of all the winning, Brian has done so much off the field for the Spartan Nation and in the classroom. He has great grades and loves to do charity work. Truth be told, I would not be shocked to find Brian one day working with kids. He loves them, and they love him.

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Brian Hoyer has led the Spartans to back-to-back bowl games and one of them most assuredly being a New Year’s Day bowl. He stayed after a coach was fired and he didn’t have to, but there is more.

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When JLS was fired he took an active role trying to get his teammates to stay and wait it out. He was one of the first to privately go to other players and sell them on his commitment to Coach Dantonio. Brian leaves MSU never having used the moment to make himself look better. He always took the attitude of the Apostle Paul that said, “I must decrease so He may increase.” In Brian’s case, the “he” was MSU.

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He never threw receivers under the bus for bad routes, nor complained when game plans didn’t put him position to succeed. He took it all in stride. He knew that the ship’s rudder is in the hand of the QB and he guided it steady. There have been QB’s whose style is more sexy. There are QB’s whose personalities are more charismatic. There haven’t been any that loved the program or this Spartan Nation more.

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I often look back on a player’s career and ask myself, “Was it a mutual relationship, or better for one or the other?” Hoyer was better to the Spartan Nation than they were to him. His parents and girlfriend had to listen to people in the stands decry his character and he was silent. When his father notoriously let it be known he was done with message boards, people tried to make Brian talk. To which he politely said, “I love the fans. I love being a Spartan. I also love and respect my dad. I know that the fans aren’t personal and I also know that I would be protective of my son also. I hope people just remember that he is my dad and try to see it from his standpoint. It’s all good. I am proud of being a Spartan.”

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That is Brian Hoyer. He took the heat when his receivers dropped 11 passes and said nothing. He ran plays that he didn’t call, but took the heat for the offense. Each and every time he kept his mouth shut. He is a true Spartan.

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“I get tired of having to defend Brian Hoyer and it really bothers me. Can’t people look at wins and losses? I can tell you this, we wouldn’t have been in the Champs bowl had Hoyer not been a Spartan,” was the way coach D reflected on his QB to me earlier this year.

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Brian is the picture of what you want your son or a Spartan to be. I have never seen him one time, not once, win or lose, hurt or not, not sign autographs for everyone that asks.

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One story I will never forget tells us all we need to know about Hoyer. I remember being in the locker room in Wisconsin last season when the staff had lost the game. There was no doubt that was my opinion with my question and he stopped, looked, and told me that they can only call plays, “I have to execute.” I said that if the wrong play is called, how can he be accountable for that? His answer, “Because I am their guy and they are my coaches. Whatever play they call, if it doesn’t work, it’s on me. They certainly don’t call a play thinking I can’t do it.”

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I remember when Brian committed to MSU. I spoke to him and his family for an article here at SpartanNation.com. I took another look this week and had to smile at a comment that his mother made. “I just want to walk off the field at a New Year’s Day game after Brian’s senior year and know that he did his best.”

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She will get her wish. She will see Brian walk off the field on a New Year’s Day bowl and what a victory for her. In that same article, his father Axel, who I readily admit is my friend said this, “I remind Brian that his initials are BH. Those don’t stand for Brian Hoyer. Those stand for Be Humble. Let your legacy speak for itself. Is the Spartan Nation better off when you leave than when you came? That is how you are judged.”

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Both of Hoyer’s parents got their wish.Â

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Hoyer followed one of the most charismatic and best QB’s in Spartan history in Drew Stanton. Many felt his career was wasted and I agree. What they don’t get, however, is that if you look at wins and losses, Hoyer’s career far exceeds Stanton’s. This isn’t a rip Drew article I love Drew. He is a great man and QB. It is simply a reality check. The Spartan Nation was angry after Drew’s career was thrown away and sometimes that anger was transferred unfairly to Hoyer.

Hoyer will walk off the field on New Year’s Day with his Spartans having had one of the best seasons in history. The program will be better off when he leaves than when he came. He will have a degree and no off-field issues. He held the team together rather than leave when he could have, and he has touched untold lives with his off-field charity work.Â

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Legacies at MSU are defined with wins over UM, and he even has one of those under his belt. A win that I stood on the sidelines of this year with Lorenzo White listening to people call for his removal. Really? He never flinched. Fans calling for another player doesn’t bother me at all. I have done that. Fans yelling character assassinations at one of our own? Pathetic and in my opinion, NOT FANS.

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I am in no way classifying all fans like this. True Spartans can be critical, but don’t cross that line to personal attacks. Most of us understand that.

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Brian Hoyer’s legacy is that he is a Spartan. Hoyer’s legacy is that he is a very good football player. Hoyer’s legacy is that he is an exceptional person. Hoyer’s legacy is that the next QB is in a lot better position with the program he will lead than when Hoyer took over. Brian Hoyer is a winner. Brian Hoyer is a role model.

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Brian Hoyer…is the epitome of what a Spartan is. He gave more to this place than he ever got. Brian Hoyer is the crystal clear picture of what the Spartan Nation should ideally be. His legacy is strong. His legacy is clear. His legacy is defined.Â

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Brian Hoyer is one of the best. The numbers don’t lie. He was given the keys to the family sedan and he delivered.

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Thank you Brian. We will miss you.

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