Natale quits Spartans

Freshman quarterback Domenic Natale has quit the Michigan State football team and has left campus Scout.com has learned.

EAST LANSING - Freshman quarterback Domenic Natale has quit the Michigan State football team and has left campus Scout.com has learned. The third-string signal caller is expected to transfer to either Cincinnati or Rutgers.

Natale apparently saw no chance to ever become the starting quarterback at Michigan State and decided to cut his losses after the end of spring practice.

The Warren, New Jersey area QB was highly regarded upon signing with the Spartans but failed to make an expected move ahead of backup Brian Hoyer in spring drills. In fact, offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin said after a spring scrimmage "we were kind of 'swimming' with Domenic Natale a little bit," referring to Natale's erratic play.

With highly touted Lowell, MI HS quarterback Keith Nichol headed to East Lansing and Hoyer ready to fill the void for a season, Natale wasn't going to get much playing time even as a backup.

"I think the competition between Brian and I was great," said Natale, "and it helped both of us out. It's really just a personal reason. I felt it was in my best interest to go somewhere else."

MSU associate athletic director John Lewandowski told the media that MSU will release Natale from his scholarship to go to either Cincinnati or Rutgers with the latter being his likely destination.

Meanwhile, MSU may have to consider giving up a valuable redshirt season for freshman Connor Dixon in the event of an injury to either starter Drew Stanton or Hoyer because they will be thin on quarterbacks.

Head coach John L. Smith could turn to little used backups sophomore John VanDam or freshman Clay Charles.


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