Offensive line battles begin today

"What I'm saying is we have a little competition, which is good," said a smiling Baldwin. "Last year we didn't have a lot of depth and this year I think we do."

EAST LANSING - Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin confirmed yesterday at the team's annual media day that the positions in the starting offensive front are still up for grabs heading into today's start of fall practice.

Baldwin said that the critical center position has come down to a battle between junior John Masters and senior Kyle Cook.

The potential big loser in the battle is Masters who, if he doesn't win the job, will be relegated to a backup position. Cook, on the other hand, cannot lose.

He will either start at center or at left guard if Masters win the center position.

The MSU coach said will make a quick decision about the center position and move on from there. He didn't indicate which was he was leaning.

If Masters loses out, then Baldwin said the left guard position will fall to either Kenny Shane or Peter Clifford, both seniors who have never started for the Spartans.

"What I'm saying is we have a little competition, which is good," said a smiling Baldwin. "Last year we didn't have a lot of depth and this year I think we do."

Baldwin confirmed that Mike Gyetvai, last year's starting right tackle will move to left tackle to "protect the quarterback's" blind side. Roland Martin, a redshirt sophomore and one of the nation's most highly touted players, takes over the right guard position.

Baldwin indicated that while Jesse Miller, a sophomore has been tabbed as the starting right tackle heading into spring, Peter Clifford could get involved in a battle for that position depending on the outcome of the center position.

The tight end position appears to be Kellen Davis' to lose. "He has had a tremendous summer, the best he's had around here. He's gotten stronger, bigger, faster. No he's has to show that on the field and be the kind of dominant blocker like the tight end position in the single back offense has to be."

Baldwin said that Dwayne Holmes will backup Davis. Holmes is one "big human being" tipping the scales at 270-pounds, joked Baldwin, who also indicated that Eric Andino has moved from linebacker to the position and will get playing time as the third tight end. The coordinator noted that it isn't out of the realm of possibility that true freshman Charlie Gantt could see some playing time with freshman Sam Gardner being ruled out due to academics.


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