Michigan State Football: Why Andrew Maxwell Will Take Big Ten by Storm
Though Michigan State fans didn't get to see junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell during spring, they, along with everyone else, will get to see Maxwell continue the Spartans' success and make some noise in the Big Ten.
After winning the Legends Division in 2011 and falling short of the Rose Bowl after losing to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, expectations remain high for 2012.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is gone after turning pro and getting drafted by the Redskins, so the keys have been handed to Maxwell, who's developed nicely and finally gets his opportunity.
Here's a look at why Maxwell could be among the biggest surprises in the Big Ten.
As a redshirt junior, Maxwell has had the luxury of spending time learning the offense and refining his skills under Kirk Cousins for three years.
He came to Michigan State as a well-known prospect, and while that doesn't do much for him now, it's evidence that the talent is there.
Maxwell has displayed confidence in interviews when addressing the media about taking over following the departure of Kirk Cousins, and the hope is that his confidence will translate onto the field.
Just as Cousins did, Maxwell will have a solid O-line and Le'Veon Bell to lean on for a majority of the offensive production.
Expect the offense to begin with a heavy dose of Bell and the rest of their running back depth, allowing Maxwell to work his way into a larger role in the offense by the middle of the season.
The big question mark is their depth at receiver, with B.J. Cunningham, Keshawn Martin and Keith Nichol all having left for the NFL.
The Spartans have plenty of athleticism at receiver, but they lack experience.
One of the nation's best and most talented defenses is returning many players from last season.
The defensive talent is solid across the board, from the pass rush to the secondary.
A slew of talent along the front seven including Marcus Rush, William Gholston, Denicos Allen, Max Bullough and Chris Norman will go a long way in helping stop offenses in the Big Ten.
A talented defense like Michigan State's will help ensure that Maxwell won't have to do as much to help them win games.
While less production but more wins might not constitute "breaking out" for Maxwell, the wins alone will garner more than enough attention and get him the credit that most quarterbacks get when teams have success.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!