Spartans might play three QBs into season

Dantonio says decisions on depth chart and playing time need to be made soon, but might continue to play out.

When fall camp opened for Michigan State, the quarterback battle appeared to be between just two players, senior Andrew Maxwell and sophomore Connor Cook.

Redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor has been making his case through the first two weeks of camp, however. As the Spartans have their second fall scrimmage Saturday – which ideally would establish the pecking order – it looks more like there are three vying for playing time.

"There are always chances," head coach Mark Dantonio said. "Basically, all three of those guys are good players. They've all had good scrimmages at times because we work every day live some. They've all done some good things and we'll see how it all shakes out.

"Obviously, this scrimmage is a big scrimmage."

Dantonio said the Spartans would need to start making decisions following the scrimmage, but it might need more time.

"I think you make decisions after the scrimmage somewhat (on the depth chart), but you also let things play out through the next week a little bit," he said.

Dantonio said O'Connor is third on the depth chart, but emphasized the playmaking abilities that he brings to the table.

"He can make some plays," Dantonio said. "His consistency on some of the things that need to be elementary, just calling the play or whatever it is, it's just the consistency of it. He had a spring practice basically, now he's in his fall camp and he makes things happen. He throws a good ball."

Dantonio said the Spartans plan to play two quarterbacks this season in order to give a second quarterback time to prepare to be a starter next year. Initially, it appeared that would be Cook, but O'Connor added his name to the mix – and threw two touchdowns in the first scrimmage on 7 of 9 passing for 74 yards.

Offensive coordinator Dave Warner said that the goal of Saturday's scrimmage would be to whittle down the quarterbacks to two, but he deferred to Dantonio.

"Certainly, that's Coach Dantonio's decision," he said. "I would like for us to get there. I think we're getting to the point now where you need to take advantage of every rep you get out here, practice and getting ready for the game and getting ready for the season. I don't know if it's an end-all, but I think we need to start making some decisions at quarterback and at other places, too."


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