Over the past two seasons, Spartans fans have been spoiled on the gridiron.Â Led by Quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Green and White compiled back-to-back 11win seasons and found themselves in forefront of Big Ten football.
Cousins has since departed to the NFL after the Washington Redskins selected the 2nd Team All-Big Ten honoree with the 102nd pick in the 2012 draft.Â Now the program is in the hands of Redshirt Junior Andrew Maxwell, who many believe can trump Cousinsâ€™ accomplishments.
Many recruits in todayâ€™s age of instant gratification are committing to programs where they can make a significant contribution as a freshman.Â The problem is, when these same players are juniors and seniors, are they still the â€œgo-to guyâ€? Before committing to the Spartans, Maxwell thoroughly went through his goals and
decided that learning was more beneficial to his long-term success.
â€œ I think it helps you mentally [to sit and learn from an upperclassman], explained Maxwell.Â â€œSometimes guys who commit for the sole reason of playing right away, I
donâ€™t know if they always know what they are getting into. To be able to sit behind a guy like Kirk [Cousins], to be able to learn the offense, to be able to learn the inâ€™s and outâ€™s and see Kirk progress on the field and to see the mistakes he made and how to handle them, those are all things I got to put in the memory bank.â€
Maxwell has most of the physical characteristics of a winning Quarterback; great arm strength, fantastic footwork and tremendous athleticism. But when the heat is on in the pocket, it is Maxwellâ€™s ability to stay calm and collected that has the Spartans poised for another 11 win season.
â€œIâ€™ve always been a shy and reserved guy growing up,â€ said Maxwell. â€œThatâ€™s just who I am and who I continue to be through college.Â I think [being calm] is something that you have to be as a quarterback.Â I donâ€™t think your going to be that successful as a Quarterback if youâ€™re riding the waves of emotions and letting your circumstances dictate your outcome.â€
Even with all of his time behind Cousins, the one part of his game that Maxwell doesnâ€™t think is developed enough is his on-field experience.Â That is sure to come once training camp comes around and Maxwell is under center as QB1.
â€œI donâ€™t think I have the game experience yet,â€ said Maxwell. â€œYou can take all the practice reps you want and take the mop-up duty during the year in 30 point wins or 30 point losses, but those arenâ€™t the true times that test a Quarterback.â€
Maxwell will have some of the best defenses trying to break free from his offensive line to crush him in the pocket. His calm and collected personality will be leaned upon heavily.Â Maxwell sayâ€™s there is a quote in Coach Dave Warnerâ€™s office that sums up the position of Quarterback perfectly.
â€œQuarterbacks are like teabags,â€ said Maxwell. â€œYou donâ€™t know what you have until their in hot water.â€
The water will come to a boil on August 31st when the Spartans host Boise State on opening night.Â Maxwell told Spartan Nation he is, "100% and ready," and that is bad news for the 2012 schedule.