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Spring Update: Player Quotes

March 28, 2018

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State football team has completed 10 of its 15 allotted spring practices as it continues to prepare for the April 7 Green-White spring game in Spartan Stadium.

Below are quotes from several players on the team’s progress this spring.

Junior defensive end Justice Alexander

On what has gotten the team to where they are…
We’re going to keep aiming higher and from that one loss we have against Ohio State, that kept us out of the Big Ten Championship. I think that’s a big determining factor for us not going to the Big Ten’s, so I think that’s really motivating us. We’re looking for those inches right now. Individually, just watching film, lifting as a team that’s all we’ve been doing.

On his goals for the season…
My goal is to try and contribute to the team in any way that I can. Just do what’s best for them to win.

On playing for Chuck Bullough
It’s good. He’s bringing new stuff to us from the NFL and from other schools, so it’s good to have multiple resources in kind of one person. It’s good to see how he teaches us and how he used to teach. He’s bringing new things to the team which is always great, so we can improve ourselves.

Freshman quarterback Theo Day

On the transition to Michigan State football…
I think it’s a little slower when you come in here in the spring, because back in early January I had all this time to chill until spring practice. The playbook it’s definitely something. It’s different compared to high school, but I think I did a pretty good job at it and I think I’ve shown it.

 

 

On the benefits of enrolling early…
It’s definitely everything I thought it was. I’m learning everything that I thought I was going to learn. I’m already that much farther than if I were to come in the fall. I think that all the information that I know now is going to help me a great amount once fall games come around.

Freshman defensive back Xavier Henderson

On his decision to enroll early…
I think the main thing is probably the playbook and all that, that’s the main thing. I mean, the speed and the physicality increases for sure, but most of the guys in our class and most of the guys that play at Michigan State are athletic already. So I come up here and I can run with some of the guys, but knowing what I’m doing and trying to play with knowledge so I can play faster is probably the biggest part.

On his goals for the season…
Definitely crack that secondary rotation however I can, just getting used to everything. Like I said, all the guys are back, the DB’s are back so we have so many dudes and so much experience. Just trying to earn from them and see if I can maybe get in there on the DB position a little bit like Josiah (Scott) did. He came in early his freshman year.

Sophomore running back Connor Heyward

On the progression from the new guys…
As an early enrollee, it’s kind of hard not just on the field, but in the locker room you have to get to know the guys and I think they’ve done a good job on and off the field. Theo (Day), he’s been doing well, throwing the ball around well, especially good for a freshman.

On what to key in on before the spring game…
Just get the game plan down and go out there and execute and not have any mistakes and just work on our turnover ratio. We just have to go out there and however they divide the teams, whatever team I’m on, hopefully we get the win.

On personal goals…
Just get ready mentally, run the playbook more, the assignment. Just getting better on and off the field with my brothers.

Junior cornerback Justin Layne

On what guys have to do to get on the field…
Coach emphasizes just making plays, so I mean if they’re making plays, they’re getting on the field. Coach D likes playing younger guys because he likes trying out different things. I mean I was at receiver and now I’m a corner right now, so they’ll get on the field. Coach D will find a way.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Rocky Lombardi

On what he’s learned from scout team…
When you’re running scout team, we really don’t do almost any of our stuff, so you have to do it on your own and I did. I mean I put in time to learn the offense and I feel like I could draw pretty much the whole playbook on paper. But like I said earlier, it’s totally different running it out on the field. Getting those reps out on the field has been crucial to getting better.

Senior linebacker Grayson Miller

On the transition to linebacker…
I think it was an opportunity...But, this is my first full transition, being fully healthy there. I bring a skillset from playing in the back end and being able to come play in space a little bit more and learning how to play in the box is completely new to me. It’s just an opportunity for me to learn and give an element from the defensive back room to be able to come back in the linebacker room.

On how being a defensive back has helped his transition…
I think in the back end you always have to play in space and a big part that people don’t understand about that specific spot in our defense is that you are always in space. You’re playing against tight ends, you’re playing against running backs who have to be able to come down the field and you have to be able to use your power to come in on linemen who are even out in space. I feel like being able to do that against wide receivers, tailbacks, whoever it was, has been able to help me and I’ve always been a bigger guy in the back end, so it’s been a little bit easier to transition down than I thought it was going to be. So I think that’s a positive thing that will help me going into the season.

On if he will stay at linebacker or transition back to safety during the season…
I’m pretty confident saying that I will stay at linebacker, but they know if it’s a safety or two that goes down they know that I know everything on the back end, I’ve done it for three years. It wouldn’t be a big deal if I had to go back, and it’s great if I have to stay in the linebacker room. If I had to guess, I would say I’m staying in the linebacker room.

Junior wide receiver Darrell Stewart

On how the offseason is going so far…
The offseason is going pretty good. I’m just getting acclimated with the freshmen that are coming in and trying to be a good older guy and trying to give them all the knowledge that they need.

On feeling more of a leadership aspect as a junior…
Definitely. I feel like I could take a couple of guys under my wing, teach them things to do and not to do. I feel like that’s the best thing about my junior year is that I’ve gained a lot of knowledge throughout my years and now I’m here to help out anybody that needs it.

Sophomore cornerback Josiah Scott

On a leadership role towards the new freshmen…
I basically tell them that all the time, you know, I’ve done this before, I know the ropes, how to go about things. I feel like they’ve really been taking what I’ve been telling them and what other guys have been telling them and applying it. They’re really working hard in film, in the weight room, and on the field so I feel like they’ll have great success here early. And even though this year they might be able to go and play this year because they’re showing really good traits, things that they came in and they’re doing better than me when I was here.

On the freshmen off the field…
Whenever I go in for tutors, they’re always in there, even if they don’t have to be. It’s just getting that extra work in. I always see them doing their work all the time in the lounge at our dorm or at the student athlete building, so they’re putting in the hours in the schoolwork as well.

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