April 23, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - On Thursday afternoon, the Michigan State football team held its final practice of the spring before the annual Green-White game Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Following practice, the 14th of the spring, Green team head coach Dan Roushar and White team head coach Ted Gill talked their respective teams and the matchup.
"We told them today that we have to play with great intensity," said Roushar, who led the Green to a 23-21 victory over the White last season. "We have to prepare like it's a game."
Roushar, who is also the offensive line coach, will be watching that group intently on Saturday.
"With the exception of the left guard spot, I probably have four of the starting five as of right now, so hopefully we have a great day," he said. "On the other hand, we're playing against the No. 1 defensive line, so it will be a great matchup."
It's no surprise that the strong defensive line on the White team will be coached by Ted Gill. The unit's leader is senior Trevor Anderson, and also features Todd Anderson, Cameron Jude, David Rolf, Jerel Worthy and Oren Wilson.
"Trevor knows exactly we want with our defense," said Gill, who is MSU's defensive line coach. "He's become a good leader for us. He's a guy that we feel can take our group and lead us on defense. I think those guys did a good job of putting the team together, but Trevor really handled the things that we thought he would handle for us (at the draft)."
With the spring game player draft held yesterday, Thursday's practice was the first opportunity for the coaches and players to work with their respective teams. Senior men's basketball player Travis Walton, an honorary coach for the Green team, watched defensive drills toward the end of practice, while men's basketball assistant Mike Garland was on hand to check out the White. Along with Garland, Mark Montgomery and Dwayne Stephens will be the honorary coaches for the White. In addition to Walton, fellow men's basketball seniors Marquise Gray, Idong Ibok and Goran Suton will help coach the Green.
"Those guys had such a phenomenal year, winning the Big Ten Championship and going to the national title game," said Roushar. "We were in here with the Green team for just a few minutes, talking about some things, and Travis then brought us together as a group. He said, `we're going to do this basketball style', and as we broke, we said `family'. And that's what this is, bringing the entire university together."
The winner of the Green-White game will get to eat steak at an upcoming team meal, while the losing team will eat franks and beans.
2009 GREEN-WHITE TEAMS
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
Quarterback: Keith Nichol