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Preseason Football Camp Update
 
 
 
Freshman linebacker Max Bullough
 
Freshman linebacker Max Bullough
 
 

Aug. 13, 2010

Video | Notebook | Preseason Camp Photo Gallery: Aug. 13

Podcasts:
Coach Dantonio | Coach Salem | Max Bullough

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Under partly cloudy skies with haze and temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s, fourth-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio sent his football team through a 2-hour, 45-minute workout on Friday, Aug. 13, as the Spartans practiced in full pads for the first time this preseason.

The team is set to begin two-a-day workouts on Saturday, Aug. 14, with a practice in full pads scheduled for 9 a.m. and a practice in shells at 4:55 p.m. The Big Ten Network will visit East Lansing on Saturday for an inside look at a Michigan State practice. The 60-minute "Big Ten Football Preview" will debut on the network on Friday, Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. EDT, featuring interviews with head coach Mark Dantonio, quarterback Kirk Cousins, wide receiver Mark Dell and linebacker Greg Jones. The "Big Ten Football Preview" - hosted by Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith - provides on-the-field analysis of each team's top newcomers, rising stars, important position battles and 2010 schedule.

Michigan State will conduct its first preseason scrimmage Monday, Aug. 16 in Spartan Stadium. Under NCAA legislation, prohibiting consecutive two-a-days, the Spartans will alternate between double sessions and a single workout through Thursday, Aug. 26 before taking a three-day break, Aug. 27-29. All practice sessions are closed to the general public.

Following Friday's practice, Dantonio, defensive line coach Ted Gill, running backs coach Brad Salem and seven freshmen - tailbacks Le'Veon Bell and Nick Hill, linebacker Max Bullough, safety Isaiah Lewis, wide receivers Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphrey, and defensive end Marcus Rush - shared their thoughts on the first week of preseason camp.

Head Coach Mark Dantonio

On the first day in full pads...
"The first day in pads is exciting for everybody. It was a hot day and we had a good, long practice. I think we have to learn to carry our pads again, that's always takes getting used to. We had a good, tough hard practice and we made strides, but it's too early to tell what's going on totally."

On the battle at kicker...
"All three of those guys (Dan Conroy, Kevin Muma and Mike Sadler) have kicked well. I think from a kickoff perspective we have to find who the kickoff guy is. We've only really had one day at that. They've all kicked very, very well when we're doing the field goal drills. Tomorrow we'll do that quite a bit in the afternoon. So they're going to have to make some kicks under pressure...They all have good legs, they have distance, and they can get the ball up, so it's going to be interesting, because I really can't say right now who will be the guy."

On William Gholston...
"As far as defenses, and doing drills and that type of thing, those are teaching progression things. But when you put the pads on and you're just playing football, and you're watching him react and hit people, he's a big-bodied guy that can run and hit you. He flashes, he definitely flashes. He has the ability to make big plays, he's tough to block, so all things point to great things for him in the near future. But you have to be able to learn the play in the system just because you have responsibilities. He's coming, he's very coachable."

On noticing whether Max Bullough is farther ahead of the other freshmen in the defense because of spring practice...
"I think that he is, but he plays a position that requires him to be farther ahead too, because he plays the mike (linebacker) position, so he's calling the defenses. We've tried to move him back to the freshmen group, because I think it's important for the freshmen (who were at spring practice) to grow back with the new freshmen. They're not sophomores, they're not second-year players, they should be true freshmen and play with their peers a little bit. We've put all the freshmen on that third unit and make sure they get the same amount of reps as the twos. But it's exciting when those guys come in, there's some very, very good football players."

On the freshmen class...
"I think when you look at this group, it's a little bit more of a complete group, because every position is represented...I was very happy with our freshmen group last year as well. Just like always, I think there's going to be about six or seven guys that are going to get on the field for you as true freshman; last year, the same thing happened for us."

On Bennie Fowler...
"Bennie is a guy who is like a true freshman because he had the foot fracture last year. We really had to hold him out the entire year and then he played in the spring. We have to keep reminding ourselves this guy is a freshman. But he made a big play today...He's got great catching ability, great speed, big size. We have depth at the receiver position, so it's challenging for everybody. Bennie looks to have legitimate big-time wide receiver ability, but he's got to transition into playing with those other guys too."

On coaching players that have been under the same system for four years...
"There's that ability to re-focus and there's retention among the older guys. They've been in that system for four years. They know what to expect. Like I said before, it was an extremely hot day out there today, and we went for a long time, but nobody cramped throughout the entire practice. That's a testament to their ability to handle our practices. So that's a positive thing and also reflects on what they've done this summer as well. Short answer, yes, whether it's Kirk Cousins playing quarterback, the tight ends, just more guys that have played in the system for longer."

On any players standing out not on the depth chart...
"When you have 85 guys, it's tough to pick...the guys you tend to notice right now are the new guys, the freshmen, because you're not used to seeing those guys out there. Some of the freshmen that stick out to me are Isaiah Lewis, Mylan Hicks and Darqueze Dennard, obviously Max Bullough and William (Gholston). Those guys look like they're handling things pretty well as far as being able to play right now at this level. I went through some guys the other day, so I don't want repeat all the names, but the two wideouts, (Tony) Lippett and (Keith) Mumphrey, are very good players as well. I think our freshmen tailbacks are very good players but they've been in the system now for six months. They've all got ability and I expect great things from all of them. The offensive line takes a little longer...there should be great things in store for a lot of those guys."

On the right tackle position...
"(J'Michael Deane) has been solid. He would be the No. 1 right tackle right now I would think. Thus far, he's had very solid practices. He's looks very good."

Overall thoughts on the day...
"Even though they looked like flowers when you don't get rain on them after awhile at the end of practice - it was very hot out there, very humid - we never had anybody cramp up, we went a lot of plays, we went a lot of live plays, nobody's hurt, and I saw good things on both sides of the ball, which I think is important. Now, if you're an offensive coach, you don't like some things, or if you're a defensive coach, but as the head coach, you see a little bit of this, you see a little bit of that, and you're seeing good things on both sides of the ball. Guys are making plays, and that's a positive for our football team. I like our competitive spirit."

Freshman linebacker Max Bullough

On the first day in full pads...
"It was good. The last couple of days we have been in shells (shoulder pads and shorts), but we really have all of our pads on, except knee pads, so we've been hitting for a couple of days, but it was good to have everything on today."

On how spring practice has helped him...
"Coming in the spring was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made because I feel 100 percent more comfortable every day. I don't have to stop and think about what I have to do, I can actually do it."

On Greg Jones...
"Watching Greg since I've got here in the spring has been awesome. He's been a great leader and he's become one of my friends. I'm rooming with him right now. Just watching him and the way he does things, the way he carries himself, and the way he tries to help everyone out, it helps me become a better player and hopefully a better leader when it's my turn."

On Greg Jones taking him under his wing...
"It's awesome. Coming in I didn't know Greg, I didn't know what he was like. Now that I've been here, he's become one of my better buddies on the team, and that just says a lot about him. Having the accolades that he gets, to be able to come and help a freshman out like me, (shows) he's a great guy."

On how he can display leadership skills as a freshman...
"We do a lot of freshmen defense vs. freshmen offense, and being the middle linebacker, that's a position of leadership. I try to get everything straight and everything situated so that we can run the defense and be successful."

On William Gholston...
"Will has come a long ways, even from Monday. Every day Will seems to be getting a lot better. I think he's starting to understand the defense more, which is good, because it took me a while too. Every day is a new learning curve, and he's coming along really well."

On if Gholston is asking him for any help...
"We've been talking. I've been here since spring, so it comes a little easier for me these first couple of weeks, so I try to help it him out. But he's in there studying and he knows quite a bit. Whenever he needs it, I'm definitely there, but he's been pretty good."

Freshman running back Le'Veon Bell

Le'Veon Bell


On blocking...
"All the linebackers, they're pretty tough to block. They have different moves and different styles of rushing. It actually makes the running backs better because you're going to see all types of blocking once you get into the games."

On his weight...
"Right now in summer camp, I feel a lot more comfortable than I did in the spring. I put on eight pounds (over the summer). I'm at 230, which is perfectly fine for me."

On playing this year...
"I just want to come in and see where the coaches put me at. I'll set my role wherever my role is going to be. I'm just going to still compete in camp, and it's going to make all of the other backs better at the same time. Anything they need me to do, I'll do."

On his first practice in pads...
"Today was definitely a tough day. There was a lot of hitting - there's definitely going to be a lot of sore bodies in the morning, but we just have to get ready to go again. This is definitely what I expected. I'm just glad I'm here and I'm a part of this."

Freshman running back Nick Hill

On how spring practice helped him for preseason camp...
"A lot of the freshmen that come in early, they say the speed of everything is the biggest difference from going to high school to college. Having those 15 practices in the spring, I've gotten used to the speed of it and also I have the plays down. A lot of the plays we're putting in the first few days of camp, is what we learned in the spring, so it was a huge advantage for me coming in."

On helping the freshmen just coming in for preseason camp...
"Larry (Caper) and Edwin (Baker) helped Le'Veon and I out when we first came in, and now we help Jeremy Langford. It just trends down the list, we all help each other out and make sure we get better, both on the field competing and in the film room, teaching each other what to look for on film.

On the first day in pads...
"My first impression was that it was hot. But we looked pretty good. There were a lot of hard hits out there. I thought we had a pretty good day in pads."

On his goals for this season...
"My goal is to play and do whatever I can, whether it's studying film more, taking more reps after practice, just whatever I can do to make sure I get on the field. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do that...But I'm a team player. I going to make sure I make everyone else around me better by making myself better."

 

 

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