At 6-foot-3, 228-pounds, Stanton's ability to complete passes at a high level (236-of-354 for 3,077 yards, 66.7% completion rate and 153.4 passer rating) combined with his agility and escapability in the pocket make him the ideal professional signal caller. The one worry among scouts is that Stanton exposes himself too much to hits running the football (121 rushing attempts for 338 yards).
Stanton missed all or part of four games in 2004 and played through injury the last five games of 2005.
He suffered a severely bruised thumb in the Ohio State game, limiting his passing effectiveness and as a result the Spartans offense suffered and the team struggled to win just one of their last four without their leader at full strength.
Unable to properly grip the football, his throws began to sail, causing him to suffer 15 interceptions in 2005. Contrast that with just six picks thrown in 2004.
If Stanton can stay healthy, he could put the Spartans on his back and propel them to a full season of success, perhaps even a conference championship. But behind Stanton, there's a big drop off.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Hoyer (GSN rating: 69)successfully fended off a challenge from freshman Domenic Natale, who, saw incoming freshman Connor Dixon(GSN rating: 70) and high school phenom Keith Nichol on the horizon and decided to transfer to Rutgers. Hoyer will be the primary backup for Stanton and quite frankly, the only time MSU wants to see him in games is in mop-up duty.
The North Olmsted, OH product is likely to get into the Spartans first two contests (Idaho, Eastern Michigan) giving him a chance to run the full playbook and give the coaching staff some confidence in his ability to run the team should the unthinkable happen to Stanton.
He played reasonably well in the four contests where he saw spot duty in 2005, completing 15-of-23 for 167 yards and a 154.91 passer rating, but that was against the likes of Kent St., Illinois, Northwestern and Indiana.
If he is successful, he could put himself in the mix to play a couple of seasons as MSU starting quarterback until Nichol (who's likely to be red-shirted his freshman season), is ready to run the team. If not, Hoyer could continue his role as a backup to Dixon who would likely be ready to claim the starting job as a sophomore or red-shirt freshman.
Behind Stanton and Hoyer are Clay Charles, a redshirt freshman from McCall, ID., John Van Dam, a junior from East Lansing and Mike Pruchnicki, a junior from Grand Blanc.
In his last season in East Lansing, Drew Stanton has the ability to make it a very special year for the Spartans, but much will depend upon the development of the MSU offensive line and the defense.
Position group rating: 89 out of 100