EAST LANSING, Mich. - There may not be an answer to the quarterback position at Spartan Stadium this week, but the good news?
The pipeline is rich with top-tier high school talent.
Jayru Campbell (Detroit Cass Tech) is coming to East Lansing in two years, but next year's freshman class has a signal-caller, too.
In this week's episode of Fourth and One: Michigan State Recruiting,WXYZ Sports Reporter Brad Galli and Spartan Nation's Hondo Carpenter talk about 2014 quarterback Chris Durkin (Ursuline, Ohio). They also discuss who will be the quarterback to be remembered six years from now, and the commitment of two players that could be Spartans mainstays on top of the depth chart.
First down: Durkin Go Nuts
So much attention has been paid to freshman Damion Terry, and his spot (if it exists) on this year's team. There's also a lot of excitement surrounding 2015 QB Jayru Campbell, as he led Cass Tech to consecutive MHSAA State titles as a freshman and sophomore. But there is a quarterback sandwiched into those two players' arrivals in East Lansing. Chris Durkin is a 6'4" pro-style quarterback from Youngstown, Ohio. He's ranked in the Top-20 of the country's 2014 quarterbacks, and in the state of Ohio, he's a Top-25 overall prospect.
Second down: Enoch is Enoch
The Spartans current defense is the best Mark Dantonio has seen since he was at Ohio State in 2002, and when he coached MSU in 2011. His words, not ours. They're hard to argue with, though, and more top-tier prospects are on their way. Enoch Smith is a bulky, smart defensive lineman from Mt. Carmel, Illinois. He's a Top-20 player in the country at his position. Carpenter compares his style of play to Chicago Bears legend Richard Dent. He's been busy recruiting other players to join him in East Lansing.
Third down: Quick Commitment
Most recruiting stories are layered with deliberation and tiptoeing around. Then there are stories like 2014 offensive lineman Nick Padla (Berrien Springs). After his team's game Friday night, he got an offer from the Michigan State coaching staff. He immediately said yes, spurning Cincinnati and Illinois. It was the offer he was waiting for, and he got it. He plays guard now, but is capable of playing tackle. Padla is a versatile pickup for the offensive line.
Fourth down: Redshirt policies
Mark Dantonio loves redshirting freshman. He does it more often than not with his entire class, so when that changes, it's noteworthy. In last week's win over South Florida, RJ Shelton and Darian Hicks both played. That's news, but....
Extra Point: TERRY(!!!)
Mark Dantiono said his freshman quarterback will get the second-most snaps this week in practice. He has a shot to prove if he belongs on the field. Dantonio is really apprehensive about putting him on the field for one game, and losing his redshirt. If Terry gives him a reason to believe he can be the starting quarterback, he'll play this week, and have a chance to be the guy four weeks from now when Big Ten play starts. If he fails this week in practice, don't expect to see him this season. This is Dantonio's olive branch. Terry has to take advantage of it.