Stanton won't be handed the job, however, MSU lists Damon Dowdell also as first team with returning sophomore Aaron Alexander listed as third string. Stanton's most likely competition will come from a familiar face, senior quarterback Jeff Smoker who has been re-instated to the program.
Smoker is listed as co-third string with Alexander, but it'll probably take all of a day's practice for the troubled senior to move up the chart to at least number two.
Meanwhile, the release of the spring practice roster reveals that new coach John L. Smith has some defections. No longer listed on the MSU roster are defensive tackle Kyle Rasmussen, formerly a starter. Also gone are defensive backs Robert Flagg and Damien Fortson, offensive lineman Nate Weber, linebacker Chris Smith or running back David Richard.
Offensive guard Paul Harker was a surprise name on the listing. Harker reportedly has applied to the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility due to injuries he suffered earlier in his career.
MSU WEST? Don't blame Spartan fans if they root for North Dakota State this season. The Bison named former MSU quarterback Dan Enos as offensive coordinator. They also added former MSU offensive assistant Pat Perles as offensive line coach and former Detroit Lions safety Van Malone as their wide receivers coach.