Gone is a three-time captain who brought great leadership skills teammates had no problem following. Also gone is a player who started all 14 games the Spartans played last season and 3,316 passing yards while hitting just under 64% of his throws for 25 touchdowns.
The Midland (MI) native enters his fourth season as a Spartan with all eyes on his every move as he replaces Cousins. Many feel the 6-foot-3, 212-pound signal caller has all the tools to play at a high level despite him only seeing action in nine career games.
When he's taken the field he's show solid skills hitting 57% of his 51 throws for 294 yards and one touchdown.
Spartan Digest Breakdown
Maxwell should feel comfortable with all the terms and techniques required of him to be the Spartans number one quarterback. Maxwell's spring is all about getting teammates to feel comfortable with him as the starter and for him to show the early leadership skills needed when the team opens the season against Boise State.
While this spring is important for his continued development Spartan Digest does not feel he is the quarterback Spartan fans should be paying close attention to during the next month.
The biggest question facing the Spartans when they open the 2012 season will be who replaces Maxwell if he misses time on the field. Cook showed great growth during his first year on campus earning Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week honors. However, running the scout team and running the Spartans offense are two different challenges and one most young player will have struggles with at some point and time if called upon.
Cook has the physical size and the Spartans were smart in having Cook travel last season to get a feeling for what it's like to prepare for a game day.
Spartan Digest Breakdown
This spring will set in place the direction of Cook's career at MSU. With Tyler O'Connor headed to campus in the fall, Cook has the chance to show an understanding of the offense and ability to lead. One thing the Spartans are looking to do is develop a steady flow of quarterbacks and Cook is in position now to follow Maxwell and become the starter in the fall of 2014. Cook must show he's ready for game action as he is at this time the only option if there is an injury to Maxwell during the season.
For Spartan fans the spring is more important for Cook than Maxwell.
Depth Chart Names
Walk-on quarterbacks Peter Badovinac and Tommy Vento are two names you'll hear this spring as they provide depth at the position to run drills. Badovinac did see action in two games last season and attempted two passes completing one for two yards. Vento redshirted last season after playing his prep career at Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison High School where he led his team to a 14-0 record and state championship.