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Michigan State Spartans Football 2015 Position Previews: Quarterbacks

Joe gets back to previewing the football positions for 2015

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

[Editor's note: In April I started a position preview series and then lost track of it until now. I'll have one position preview a week until the new season - JT]

Key Losses

No quarterbacks on the roster (including walk-ons) left after last season. The early retirement and transfer of Joe Boisture due to back issues created the two-year gap between Andrew Maxwell and Connor Cook; that gap created problems in 2012 and early 2013 but is paying some dividends now. The willingness of Damion Terry and Tyler O'Connor to wait in the wings has been helpful in terms of depth.

Top Returnees

Senior Connor Cook has the 13th-best Heisman odds at 20-to-1, and is the best hope that MSU has for a Heisman winner since Javon Ringer (or perhaps Drew Stanton). Cook is 23-3 as a starter, and is coming off of a 2014 campaign where he led MSU to its highest scoring output in a season (by a wide margin). Cook is primed for perhaps the best season ever by an MSU quarterback, followed by a high-first round draft pick.

If you still have ambivalent feelings about Cook after reading that paragraph, I give up.

Junior Tyler O'Connor was efficient in non-conference mop-up duty last year, posting a QB efficiency of 183.0. There was some concern over O'Connor's spring performance, but I'm going to chalk that up to weirdness with the Spring Game. O'Connor's spot at second on the spring depth chart (with no ‘OR') suggests he's the first off the bench in the case of a Cook injury. I'm pretty comfortable with that, given the amount of time Tyler has been in the system (or that's what I'm telling myself).

Sophomore Damion Terry is a little bit of a strange case. There was a lot made of the "Brass" package last year which was used very rarely. Terry was injured last summer and also this spring, which makes me wonder if his development has been stunted to some extent. You know the Terry-O'Connor race will be interesting next year. For now, it's incredible depth.

New Faces

Brian Lewerke, a true freshman from Arizona, will happily redshirt. It'll be interesting to see if he has any impact upon the QB race in 2016.

The Upshot

This group has a high-end Heisman talent and significant depth. There's a case to be made that this is the strongest group of any on the roster headed into 2015, given Cook's stellar record and national exposure. Given the state of the position at the beginning of 2013, that's an incredible statement. Can we grant Dave Warner sainthood, please?