Michigan State Football

Michigan State's Keith Nichol May Be Better at Receiver

MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 26:  Keith Nichol #7 of the Michigan State Spartans pitches the ball to a running back against the Wisconsin Badgers on September 26, 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Mark RudiCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

After Saturday night's Alamo Bowl, Michigan State quarterback Keith Nichol may just work better at receiver.

Nichol was moved to receiver due to wide outs B.J. Cunningham and Mark Dell being suspended for the Alamo Bowl.

Nichol caught two passes for 11 yards in MSU's 41-31 loss and also had a 7-yard touchdown run.

But about the future? Does Nichol work better as a receiver or a quarterback? Head coach Mark Dantonio says that's something that will be addressed at a later time.

“Those decisions are made in the future," Dantonio said to The Grand Rapids Press . “The situation we became involved in, and the necessity of the numbers, kind of predicated that we move Keith.

“We knew when we recruited him that he would be a viable part of the team, and that he would make plays for us."

But with the success of Kirk Cousins, it may appear that Nichol would work better at a receiver. Cousins and Nichol were both battling for the starting job when the season began and both played a significant amount earlier in the season, but as the season went on, Cousins appeared to be the man at QB.

Nichol, who transfered to MSU from Oklahoma in 2008, also struggled to find playing time at Oklahoma, as he backed up Sam Bradford in 2007. And it looks like Nichol will most likely not beat out Cousins for the starting job in 2010.

As for receivers, MSU loses all-Big Ten wideout Blair White, who had 70 receptions for 990 yards in 2009, but still have Cummingham and Keshawn Martin.

But Nichol would add some size to the receiving corp with his 6'2", 215-pound frame and Dantonio has described Nichol as a bigger and stronger version of White. Dantonio also told The Detroit News that he believes Nichol can be a triple-threat playmaker.

Nichol was 40-for-91 this season with a 53.8 percent completion percentage with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Most of his stats were accumulated early in the season, including a 195 yard day against Wisconsin Sept. 26 and a 179 yard afternoon against Illinois on Oct. 10, a game which Nichol started.

Once spring football starts, this topic will come up again and we'll see if Nichol stays at quarterback or makes the move to wide out.

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