While fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O'Connor will never forget his first career start as a Michigan State Spartan, he knows Friday night’s start against Furman will have special meaning. Tuesday, O’Connor expanded on what his emotions will be like coming out of the tunnel for the first time in Spartan Stadium as the team’s starter.
“You can finally go out there like it is your team,” said O’Connor. “I have always kind of sat back and let the seniors go out first, let Connor (Cook) go out there first, things like that. Finally, I will have no problem being out there in front with Coach D as we walk out together leading the team and everything like that. It will definitely be a different feel knowing that everybody is behind me and everything like that and it is kind of my team now.
O’Connor knows with responsibilities as a starter and captain comes a different set of pressure on and off the field. However, he also feels he’s got the confidence and support needed for success.
“There is pressure, but coming from within, I don’t think there is any pressure,” he said. “I think I have the full support. I had to meet with Coach D yesterday and he mentioned how much support he had for me and how confident he was for me and how excited he was for me. Hearing that from the most important guy is very comforting and Coach D has done a great job of making me feel comfortable and giving me what I want or whenever I have questions answering them for me. Not necessarily pressure, but I feel very confident.”
While many may feel the Lima, Ohio native suffered great anxiety knowing he was about to start against Ohio State, O’Connor stresses he’s never been more anxious for a game than he’s right now for Furman.
“I have never been so anxious for a game so early,” he said. “Last time I was so anxious for a game, I think it was about 1 p.m. the night before the Ohio State game. I am very excited. It is something I have been waiting for a long time for. This week can’t go quick enough.”
O’Connor and the Spartans kickoff the 2016 season Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Spartan Stadium and SpartanDigest.com will be on hand.