Stanton prepping for Heisman type season

This is the first of a two-part interview with Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton is currently rated 32 of 83 quarterbacks heading into his senior season by NFL Draft Scout.com. He is expected to be a top-10 selection in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft.

This is the first of a two-part interview with Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton is currently rated 32 of 83 quarterbacks heading into his senior season by NFL Draft Scout.com.

He is expected to be a top-10 selection in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft.

Drew Stanton was deeply disturbed at the way MSU finished its season last year. After getting off to a great 4-0 start, special teams hurt them in a nailbiting 34-31 loss to Michigan.

The Spartans went into free fall when special teams cost them the Ohio State game the following week and wound up losing six of their last seven games to finish a stunning 5-7.

Stanton has made it his goal to lead his team to a Big Ten Championship in his final season wearing the Green-and-White. He told GSN that he doesn't want a repeat of last year's fiasco.

"Going through it last year and having the wheels come off like they did, I think everybody, hopefully, took something away from that situation. I know I did," said Stanton. "It something that we come out here and strive for every day, to be consistent and try to do it better than we did it before."

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Farmington Hills, MI says he takes seriously the challenge that he's received from coaches John L. Smith and Dave Baldwin to improve and get better every rep.

"That's what coach Baldwin has always harped on, to try to do that. Each day we come out here we try and compete. We try to show up and do as much as we possibly can on the offensive side of the ball, whichever drill it is, if its 1-on-1 or if its 9-on-7. All those things that we have to do when we come out here. If we're going to be the best it takes a championship effort every time."

The MSU offense shouldn't have much trouble putting points up on the board. MSU sports some high powered weapons on offense, led by emerging receiver Terry Love, sophomore Javon Ringer and senior Matt Trannon, but Stanton knows MSU will only go as far as the defense will allow.

"It's very important (for the defense to come out and play well). They're starting to get that swagger about them which every good defense has. They're kind of loud and obnoxious and they kind of make you mad at times. They've been able to do that a little bit with us, with some of the things they've been doing and kind of showing us different looks. It's good to see.

Hopefully they can take away some of the good things and grow from that and have some of those guys step up."

Stanton believes that the re-emergence of Seth Mitchell from injury has been a steading influence on the young Spartans defense.

"It's a real positive to have Seth Mitchell back in there as a physical presence. To see what he's gone through in his career to come back and persevere, I couldn't be happier for him."

Stanton feels comfortable as the unquestioned leader of the offense. He feels that coach Baldwin will take more of the responsibility of the offense to allow Smith to be more hands-on for the defensive side of the ball.

"Coach Smith is more defensive-minded," surmised Stanton. "I think he feels comfortable putting the offense in coach Baldwin's hands a little bit and allowing him to work with it and get the different input from everybody else.

I don't know if they're emphasizing it so much but in order to win championships you have to have a good defense. Especially in this league, with the caliber of players that we're going up against, you can't have any weaknesses at all or else it will be exposed."

Go Spartans.net will have more tommorrow from Stanton as he talks about the working with Coach Dan Enos, competition for positions, the need to finish ballgames and the need to win some big games this season. Stanton also talks about what transfers Nehemiah Warrick and Ogedmi Nwagbuo bring to the Spartans defense.


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