April 4, 2013

SPRING FOOTBALL: Salem updates the QB picture

EAST LANSING - Those expecting Andrew Maxwell to relinquish the starting quarterback position without a fight because of a subpar performance in a bowl game don't know the fifth-year senior too well.

The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Michigan State captain has moved past the disappointment of being benched for the final drive of the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and embraced the three-man quarterback competition between himself redshirt sophomore Connor Cook, and redshirt freshman Tyler O'Connor this spring.

"We have a sign that says, 'The green jersey earned, never given,'" said Maxwell. "When you come to a program like this, that's what you expect. Nothing is going to be given. You have to earn everything you get. That has been my mentality through the spring, that's what I've embraced because that's the reality of the position that I am in right now. I think it has been going well and I am looking forward to the rest of the spring."

First-year quarterbacks coach Brad Salem likes what he's seen from Maxwell.

"It has been neat to see his confidence and how he has played this spring so far," said Salem. "There is a calmness, an eagerness, and a guy that is willing to compete, that does a great job as far as leadership. He is going into his fifth year, so he is a very mature individual at the position."

Maxwell began spring football on top of the depth chart at quarterback. He has maintained that lead through the seven practices leading up to the team's first scrimmage on April 5.

"His experience and what he is doing and just understanding the offense," said Salem, explaining what has given the fifth-year senior an edge over Cook and O'Connor.

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