Practice Notebook (August 7)

A few freshman are familiar with other players on the Spartans from high school and one has bulked up a little bit since his arrival on campus.

Michigan State held its fifth practice Wednesday and brought out a group of the freshman class for the interview segment.

Here are some notes and comments from those players and coaches:

**Damion Terry and Delton Williams have routinely been getting reps together with Williams at RB. The pair went to Erie Cathedral Prep together, so the bond they have is nice when it comes to the practices at MSU.

"It means a lot," Terry said. "Me and him have been doing that since freshman year, so to come right up in here in college and be doing the same things together, it feels like we haven't lost a step. Everything is going good."

Williams said Terry helps him when it comes to knowing plays, too.

"It feels good (getting shared reps)," Williams said. "Me and him, say I don't know a play or I don't know the full play. I will be like, ‘Damion, help me out here,' and he will be right there for me. His position is harder than mine. He has to know everyone on the field. Me, I just got to really know my position and the thing I gotta do.

"So, it feels good to have him next to me. It's like a brother next to me just to make sure I'm doing good and just helping each other out."

**When Terry and Williams went home to Erie, Pa., a couple weeks ago, they took a bus then a train. The bus left them in Toledo, Ohio, with a lengthy wait before getting the train. What did they do? They called kicker Michael Geiger, who lives in Toledo.

The trio hung out all afternoon at Geiger's home and got dinner together.

**Demetrius Cooper is getting praise from head coach Mark Dantonio, as well as when I spoke with defensive line coach Ron Burton.

"Demetrius is very athletic," Dantonio said. "He's not the heaviest guy right now, but he reminds me a lot of Julian Peterson when Julian was young. You know, Julian came here with two years of (junior college) ball in him. He's electric. He can move; he flashes. It's too early to tell, but I think he flashes as a player. I'm very excited about our freshmen."

Burton also said that Cooper has to focus on getting stronger, but the talent is there.

"Just his natural ability of getting off the ball," Burton said. "He uses his hands naturally and his speed. What he needs to continue doing is getting stronger and understanding the defense, which all our young kids do. It is still a work in progress, that's for sure."

Sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun has been focused on helping Cooper, as I watched him pull him aside after a few reps and give him pointers on how to use his arms better.

**Cornerback Darian Hicks and redshirt freshman wide receiver Tres Barksdale attended Solon (Ohio) High School together and now they are competing out on the practice field.

"It's fun," Hicks said. "He always has to talk trash and try and get in my head, but I just don't pay mind to it. So, he will get me sometimes and I will get him sometimes. It is just like high school all over again for us. Playing against each other and going back at it."

**Running back Gerald Holmes arrived on campus at 212 pounds and has bulked up to 218, but says he feels like he maintained speed – if not added it.

**Linebacker Shane Jones said he has been working out at the boundary linebacker position. Jones has the ability to play all three linebacker spots in the Michigan State defense.

**They aren't freshmen, but wide receivers Bennie Fowler and Keith Mumphery spent extensive time after practice working on the jugs machine. They clearly want to put the drops behind them from last year.


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