Cook Continues Growth

From the day Connor Cook left Walsh Jesuit High School for Michigan State he's had one goal in mind. Become the Spartans starting quarterback. That goal is only an injury away and Cook knows he must prepare everyday in case his turn comes early.

Last season Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio used Connor Cook as the scout team quarterback. The other thing the Spartans head coach did was kept Cook in the loop when Kirk Cousins and Andrew Maxwell prepared each week.

Traveling with the team gave Cook a chance to see the preparation it takes for each game and hopefully help as he enters this spring as the Spartans back-up signal caller.

How is Cook preparing for the day his name is called?

"You just got to go into every practice thinking you're the guy," said Cook. "Take every rep like you're the guy, but two just get mental reps when you're not in there. Get a mental rep to know what we're doing and know what the defense is doing and all that stuff. The spot is open and if he (Maxwell) goes down I'm the guy. But you have to prepare everyday like you're the guy."

While much of last season was to give Cook an understanding of the grind he'd face in the future, the off season was used to physically prepare him for the field.

"My main goal was to gain weight and I put on about 10-12-pounds," said Cook. "I was around 205-206 during the season and now I'm about 217-218 which is very, very good for me because in high school it was so hard for me to gain weight.

"In coming here and the off season and how hard Coach Mannie pushes us I just packed on 10-pounds like it was nothing. So hopefully if I'm 218 now, by the time fall camp rolls around I'd be 220. That would be awesome."

Running the Spartans scout team provided Cook with the chance to play in several different styles of offense. How does he describe his game?

"I'm an athletic quarterback," said Cook. "I can scramble around throw on the run and make a play out of nothing and maybe possibly get a couple of positive yards out of a play."

As the Spartans back-up quarterback this spring will be one of great growth for Cook as he looks to show the ability to master the Spartans offensive attack in case his name is called next fall.

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