Three "M's" stepping up in offensive line

The "three M's" - Roland Martin, Jesse Miller and John Masters have stepped up their collective games to give Michigan State a comfort zone as Spring Football winds towards conclusion.

EAST LANSING - A Big Ten team losing three starters in its offensive line could be a cause for panic, but not so for Michigan State. That's because of the emergence of 3M - not the pressure sensitive materials manufacturer, but rather, the three M's, Roland Martin, Jesse Miller and John Masters. The trio have stepped up their collective games to give Michigan State a comfort zone as Spring Football winds towards conclusion.

Miller, a 6-foot-6, 306-pound, redshirt sophomore has impressed everyone and garnered most of the headlines and rightly so. No one, not even his high school coach or even Miller himself for that matter, expected the rapid progress that has been a pleasant surprise and the most talked about of the spring sessions.

"I come away from practice every day more and more impressed with Jesse Miller," coach John L. Smith said of the likely starter at right tackle. "At times, his massive body seems to completely engulf the defender."

Smith talked about what Miller has done to improve at such a rapid pace.

"Football is very important to Jesse, so he takes great pride in going to the field and competing. He's conditioning himself to be a winner in every aspect of the game as well as the game of life. This is a special quality that can't be coached. Jesse wants to win everything that he does whether it's a race against other offensive linemen or a 5-yard shuttle, a competition in the weight room or earning good grades in the classroom. He's simply a great competitor, on and off the field."

At the other end of the spectrum is Martin who was expected to be a instant starter by some, even as a freshman coming out of Chicago Harper HS. Martin's commitment to Michigan State was carried live on ESPN News as part of its National Signing Day coverage and the big 6-foot-5, 326-pounder with the nimble feet as emerged from a few setbacks to have first dibs on the right guard position next to Miller.

John Masters at 6-foot-4, 299-pounds, is the little fella of the bunch. Masters a true junior from Carmel, IN learned his craft at the feet of Michigan State's rock of the offensive line Chris Morris. Masters knows the pressure is on to be a solid pivot, making the calls for the rest of the group when the opposing teams has a 'game', 'stunt' or blitz look. He feels that working with Morris has him solidly prepared.

"Chris [Morris] and I had a close relationship, probably as close as you could for two guys being at the same position. It was a really good experience learning from him. I couldn't ask for a better mentor. Hopefully, I can fill his foot steps."

With experience on the left side in the form of Mike Gyetvai, a fifth-year senior and injured returning guard Kyle Cook, MSU feels solid. They have 6-foot-7, 320-pound Peter Clifford, 6-foot-5, 320-pound Kenny Shane and 6-foot-3, 303-pound redshirt freshman Joel Nitchman in reserve. Those eight guys will likely make up the rotation for offensive line coach Jeff Stoutman. Stoutman feels if he has a solid eight man rotation, he is in good shape. One player not likely to suit up at all for the Spartans in injured lineman Tom Kascmarek who'll have to have a ligament transplanted from a cadaver to repair his knee. He'll likely be a candidate for a medical redshirt.

Still, with the 3Ms all stepping up their game, MSU can feel somewhat comfortable and secure in feeling that the health of Heisman candidate Drew Stanton is in good hands.

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