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Spartan Football Spring Preview, Pt. 2
 
 
 
Brian Hoyer threw for 2,725 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2007.
 
Brian Hoyer threw for 2,725 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2007.
 
 

March 12, 2008

Listen to Spartan Sports Podcasts
Brian Hoyer Interview
Javon Ringer Interview
Greg Jones Interview
Jesse Miller Interview
Justin Kershaw Interview

Senior quarterback Brian Hoyer

On the loss of Jehuu Calurick and Javon Ringer being the premier back this year...
Javon is one of the best running backs in the country. I think you have to feature him and the more times you get the ball in his hand the better it's going to be. Also we have a lot of other backs behind him that can come in and we can kind of use that two back system.

On the loss of Devin Thomas...
It's a big loss, he broke a lot of records here and he was obviously valuable to this offense. In the same sense people are going to step up. Mark Dell got some playing time last year and made some contributions and Deon Curry is also back. We also have a kid, B.J. Cunningham, who you'll be able to see this spring. There might not be just one guy like Devin was last year. Between those three and some other guys they're really going to be able to step up.

 

 

On B.J. Cunningham contributing this season...
I think he'll have that opportunity. He has tremendous talents. These 15 practices will really help and we'll see how it is from there. Then he'll have an opportunity in the fall to win that starting spot.

On his change from the last football game...
It's a learning process and it is something I have used to motivate myself. It was probably the worst performance I have had in my career in any sport. I learned from those mistakes and I went back and watched film from the entire season. That has showed me little things where I can improve. There were times where I could have thrown to the back a little more. Now that I got the whole offense down I am not worrying about the big picture, I can focus on the little things. I spent a lot of time watching film and I see things where I can improve and I am looking forward to doing that this spring.

On what he is most looking forward to in the spring...
We have to enjoy the rest of it, because it goes by fast. I feel like I have a lot of stuff that I can work on. Now that I have the offense down as a whole, I can work on some of the finer points.

On the changes to the offensive line...
The good thing about people getting hurt over the past couple of years is that other guys get playing experience. They know what it's like to be out there during the game and they're hard workers.

On whether earning respect or finishing games is more difficult...
I think we earned that respect back, but I think if we learn to finish games we will earn an even greater respect. We know that we can do it. Every game we lost was within seven points, so there are little plays here and there that can turn the tides. Whether it comes down to playing offensively or defensively at the end of the game, we have to be able to finish and stop the other team and put ourselves in a situation to win.

On using Devin Thomas as motivation and inspiration...
It just shows you what hard work can do. Devin really started to turn his career around at about this point last year. If someone were to say at this point last year that he was going to be getting drafted in the first round, everybody would have laughed. Going into the spring game, everybody thought that other people were going to step up. It just shows that if you work hard and have the right mentality, you can do pretty much anything you want. I wouldn't put it past any of the guys this year.

Freshman linebacker Greg Jones

On the immediate impact he had on the team...
It was a little bit of a surprise that it was so early. Coach said that there were going to be opportunities and that's all I asked for. I just worked my way up like everybody else.

On his big contribution as a freshman...
It came out of a lot of instinct. Last year was my first true time being at linebacker for a full year, other than my senior year, and it was just a lot of fun to be out there. I had a lot of help from the guys on the team, and there was a lot of communication on and off the field. There was a lot of hard work put into it.

On his role as a leader for next season...
I'm just really trying to get a family unity within the defense.

On the youth of the linebackers...
I don't think us being young will be a factor. We're in the film room just as much as the seniors. A lot of guys have been red-shirts, so they are two years in. Myself, being a true freshman, I have a year in, as well. So I don't think it will be a factor for us at all.

On the incoming class of defensive players...
I feel really good about it. We have some other linebackers coming in out of Ohio, and I think Tyler Hoover is a great kid who can come in and probably change things up in the lineup.

On how he can improve as a sophomore...
I need to be more consistent. I went from having 10 tackles or so to only having two or three, and I think I need to be consistent in every game in order to win and to have a strong defense in the league.

On who he models his game after...
I have always liked Ray Lewis, growing up as a kid at the linebacker position. He's just very fast and free on the field and he's able to take charge of a game at any time and that's what I try to do. I'm not saying I am Ray Lewis, but I try to mimic what he does.

Senior defensive tackle Justin Kershaw

On some of things the defense needs to focus and improve on in the spring...
We need to learn about offense more, what the other offense is doing and trying to pick up tendencies. This time last year we didn't know the defense; we didn't really know these coaches well and it was very confusing. Now, we have everything down, we know the system and we know the coaches.

On the comfort level with coaches this season compared to last season...
We are a lot more comfortable because we know them, we know the defense and we know what they expect. Coach Dantonio still keeps us on our toes.

Javon Ringer has rushed for more than 2,700 yards in his career at MSU.


On taking a leadership role this season...
I feel that I was a leader last year but we had senior leaders as well. Now I know I have to step it up and be a leader. There are other guys on the defense that will have to step up and be leaders. Even the young guys, it is time for them to step up and be leaders vocally.

Senior running back Javon Ringer

On being the premier back...
My success is just going to come from my offensive line and my receivers. I cannot do anything without them blocking for me. They did a tremendous job last year and with the work they been putting in this year, I can only expect bigger things.

On if he wants to be the senior captain this year...
Yes, I would like that role. I feel I have a good relationship with everybody on the team. I talk to everybody and I feel I am a pretty likable guy. Just having that role is a big step and I would not shy away from that role, I would love to be the captain.

On the losses of the offensive linemen...
I still feel we have some good offensive linemen. They're still very athletic and big. With the size that they have they can still move and run. I am expecting good things.

On his capabilities and limitations in practice...
I love going against our defense because I know them more and it's bragging rights. I don't need to do a lot of hitting, because I will be doing a lot of hitting during the season. I know all the plays and know all the blitzes, so it's pretty much review for me. The only thing I am risking is getting hurt, so I'm just going through all the drills. When we start hitting, I might do a little bit, but not too much.

On getting involved with the passing game and special teams...
Coach Treadwell has always tried to find different ways to get the ball in my hands. If it's the passing game, it's just another way to get me the ball. But I also know that there are a lot of other people on the team who are capable of doing that.

Senior right tackle Jesse Miller

On the team's biggest strength this year...
Our work ethic. Since we're in winter conditioning we don't know all our player strengths because I don't know how everything will fall out or who is going where. Right now it's our work ethic, and I figure with the proper work ethic, we'll be good.

The biggest thing the team has to work on this spring...
I feel we need to work on dominating a game from start to finish.

On losing some experience on the offensive line and the importance of becoming a cohesive unit this spring...
That is very important considering the importance of the offensive line in football. We have to be around each other all the time and doing everything together. To get the young guys more comfortable and not scared because it's not a natural place to be, in front of 70,000 fans and have a guy in front of you that might be 10 times faster then you. We have to make them feel comfortable and give them the confidence to get out there.

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