Cousins Knows Trust Is Earned

Coming out of high school Kirk Cousins didn't know his future would be that of a starting Big Ten quarterback. But Mark Dantonio and his staff saw something in the Michigan native and watched as he developed. spoke with Cousins after practice to get his thoughts on the spring and what it's like being the number one signal caller.

As a high school quarterback at Holland (MI) Christian High School, Kirk Cousins dreamed of leading a Big Ten football team to victory. While not considered a "Big Time" recruit by many, Cousins worked hard and by the end of the recruiting process things worked out.

After seeing action in five games in 2008, Cousins would start twelve games earning honorable mention All-Big Ten by the media and fulfilling his dream as a Spartan in 2009. Looking back what does he remember most?

"It was an up and down deal, there were days you though things were going to work out one way and then the next day it didn't. I'm thankful for the opportunity I've got now considering I only had one Big Ten offer. I learned a lot during the process and didn't know I would be here. But I'm grateful for everything I've gotten so far."

This spring saw Cousins earn the distinction of being the number one quarterback for the Spartans after battling Keith Nichol the past year. How has things changed since earning the trust of the coaching staff?

"I'm a lot more confident knowing I've played a season under my belt. I think it has changed having a year pass knowing I've continued to earn the confidence of the coaches."

Last season saw the Spartans on several occasions go to the wire in games. How has the experience from last season helped Cousins and his teammates this spring?

"It was difficult and not an easy thing to deal with. I learned how hard it was to win at this level. You've got to play every down. We had a lot of young players last season that got a lot of experience and feel we'll be better prepared in the future."

For Cousins his goals were simple this spring.

"I came into spring wanting to improve my footwork. My focus has been on getting a good base while also being solid in game management. I want to make sure we get out of the wrong plays and into the good ones."

During the season Spartan quarterbacks take a written test to see how prepared they are for the upcoming week's game. Does this carry over into the spring?

"In the fall we take the test on Wednesday night. Coach Warner doesn't give us one during the spring, but I might ask him to give us one."

As for the offense as a whole the goals have been simple this spring.

"We're working on balance. We need to run the football effectively while still being able to pass. The running game is going to open everything up and the rest will take care of itself."

In watching Kirk Cousins in practice you see he's got natural leadership abilities. These were the qualities that sold Coach Dantonio on offering him a scholarship coming out of high school and why they've trusted him to run the offense. As one of the team's leaders how does Kirk see this year's offensive group coming together?

"We feel really good about our receiving core and the running backs are improving every day. We feel there are plenty of guys to move the football and we know we've got some good guys up front to block and open holes."

Thursday saw another spring practice entered into the books. How did the day go?

"It went very well. We had some good plays and some not so good plays. But we're very excited as a team and we're working hard to play at an elite level. I'm very confident we're going to achieve our goals this spring and next season."

While Kirk Cousins knows all eyes are on his development this spring, he also never forgets the path he took to become a quarterback at a Big Ten university.

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