But Brian Hoyer (Jr.) welcomes the opportunity—if not the cautious prognosticating—to step into some big cleats and lead the Green and White offense.
Fans and experts alike wonder how the newly minted QB will respond to the big-time pressures of being a signal caller in the Big Ten.
If past performance is any indication, Hoyer should be ready to roll come September. He played in eight games last season and even made his first career start against Penn State with Stanton injured.
In that game, Hoyer slung the ball 61 times, connecting on 30 of them for 291 yards and a touchdown. There should be little doubt about his ability to throw the ball at the Big Ten level.
However, the extra dimension Stanton brought to the position with his legs will be difficult for Hoyer to replicate.
But with an offensive game plan that does not border on insane, as John L. Smith's often did, and with a stable of returning running backs and lineman, the Spartan QB should rely less on his legs anyway.
Besides, simple maneuverability is all a quarterback really needs anyway, and Dantonio likes what he sees.
"Brian moves well enough to get out of the pocket when pressured and create opportunities down the field," said Dantonio in a MSU release.
And it's not like he doesn't have talent. Out of high school in Cleveland, Hoyer was ranked as a top quarterback recruit and was pursued by Ohio State and many others. In his final high school season, he threw for 2,600 yards and 23 touchdowns.
There are worse scenarios for quarterbacks gaining the number one spot. After all, Hoyer has had three years to adjust to college life, to learn from other pro-caliber athletes, and to get used to the idea that starting quarterback is perhaps the most scrutinized position in all of sports.