Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
It might seem strange to put MSU's quarterback situation on this list, especially given the tenuous position of Connor Cook's counterpart down the road in Ann Arbor. But give us a moment to explain.
First, let's rewind to last August. At this time in 2013, there was almost no certainly about who would be the full-time starter for the Spartans at quarterback. Even after a couple of shaky weeks, Cook's position as starter was anything but secure.
By the time MSU was walking into Lucas Oil Stadium to take on Ohio State in the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game, Cook had undergone one of the most amazing in-season maturations the Big Ten has seen in quite some time.
Cook was eventually named MVP in both the Big Ten title game and the ensuing Rose Bowl Game.
So where does that leave us today? Cook is unquestionably the front-runner, but we seem to have a tough time getting his early struggles out of our minds. With some quality "backups" waiting in the wings, the battle will be focused on securing the No. 2 spot on the depth chart—and potentially a starting spot if something disastrous were to befall Cook, or if he somehow relapses to his younger performances.
Tyler O'Connor and Damion Terry will be battling for that second spot on the depth chart, and the talent these two possess speaks to the surprising young depth MSU has at the position.
O'Connor was the No. 2 in 2013, and he has the inside track for the backup slot in 2014. The 6'3", 220-pound sophomore saw limited action last year before the coaching staff settled on Cook as the full-time starter.
Terry, while an unknown factor, certainly comes with plenty of intrigue. Spartan fans were anxious to get a peek at Terry last season, eager to catch a glimpse of his rumored crazy athleticism. After all, in the 2013 camp, Terry was nothing short of impressive. He opened plenty of eyes both in the media and among his own defensive teammates. Mark Dantonio eventually decided—probably correctly—to redshirt Terry in 2013.
With that redshirt now effectively burned, will we finally get a look at this phenom? Let's hope so.