Terry getting a chance to be the guy at MSU

Spartans will be cautious to burn freshman's redshirt, but opportunity to be "the cream to rise to the top" is there in practice this week.

Still searching for production from the quarterback position, Michigan State has not ruled any of its four quarterbacks out of the mix.

"When you have a tough decision," head coach Mark Dantonio said on Tuesday, "I've tried to slow the game down. … I've tried to slow it down to the extent that it allows the cream to rise to the top in this particular situation. … I'm waiting for somebody to seize the moment and establish themselves."

In the search for the right player, Dantonio said it's fine if the player that emerges is a young player – leading to freshman Damion Terry taking reps with the twos to start the week of practice.

"Based on Damion's performance in the summer in the one practice, his performance as of late, he deserves an opportunity to show what he can do in practice," Dantonio said.

Dantonio emphasized that simply playing Terry to see what he can do in a game is not fair to the freshman.

"If he's not ready, we can't take the redshirt off him and ruin his year," Dantonio said. "That wouldn't be fair to him. … If we take the redshirt of him, it means he had a great week of practice and he's ready to play."

Following practice Tuesday, quarterbacks coach Brad Salem said Terry shows flashes of what he can do, but the coaches haven't seen a lot of him yet.

"I think the big thing is just getting him real reps so we can see what he can do," Salem said. "We have seen some things in scrimmages, but now that he is kind of back to health this week, you really want to see what he is able to do."

Salem mentioned Terry being sick and having an injured thumb last week. He also said Terry missed some days in fall and didn't take snaps for about two weeks.

Salem said he felt stronger about the freshman being able to handle playing this season.

"I think (Tuesday) is stronger, just because you seen him – we haven't even had a whole practice," Salem said. "But even in the practices early, back in fall camp, calling plays and stuff like that are much smoother (now). He can handle a huddle and cadence and just simple things you don't even think about. … There's much more comfort (Tuesday)."

Like Dantonio, Salem said taking a redshirt from Terry is a huge decision and finding a way to guarantee success is important.

"Coach Dantonio sort of addressed it, you've gotta protect the kid because you're talking about, if he plays, you need to somehow guarantee success because you're taking a redshirt from him and that's a huge decision," Salem said. "He's gotta be comfortable, you've gotta be comfortable. We've been patient in that process, but it was good to see more (Tuesday)."

Salem said the playbook for Terry would have to be cut down by at least 50 percent, but noted that with around 60 plays called per game, it doesn't have to be expansive.

Salem added the key is pairing the person and his abilities with the plays, as well as what he is comfortable with and can comprehend.

Dantonio made it clear he would be willing to play Terry if he shows enough in practice this week.

"I'm willing to do that because of what I saw out in practice and what I see," Dantonio said. "His ability to run, his ability to throw, he's poised in the pocket. That's a positive thing. We have to see where he's at. The only way to find that out is to practice him."


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