MSU WR Bennie Fowler Talks About Spring Ball, His Senior Year and More
Q: How do you feel like you’re doing? You’re the leader of this group, this offensive group. It’s yours. Has it hit you yet, Okay I’m the Daddy. I’m the guy.
A: Yeah, it’s kinda of hit me coming into my last spring ball here, making some plays. I’m coming into a bigger leadership role this year having played a whole full season under my belt. I’m a lot more comfortable out there.
Q: I saw something today and I want you to tell me if I mis-saw it. I saw a side of you I really like. I saw you getting on a younger player. Are you feeling a little bit more confident now that, Okay these guys drop passes or aren’t paying attention. I’m gonna jump down somebody’s throat. I was impressed.
A: Oh yeah, no doubt. I can’t really play the nice guy role right now because we went 7-6. So I’ve gotta be more of a leader and me putting pressure on younger people puts pressure on myself as well to do better.
Q: What do you think right now you’re doing best?
A: Catching the ball with my hands, not letting the ball come into my body at all. My knowledge of the offense is a lot better. I’m in a lot better sync. I’m more comfortable with Maxwell and our offense. We’re doing a lot of positive things.
Q: Have you seen Andrew take a step above the other guys a little bit this spring, or was it already there?
A: I think it was already there. There’s no substitute for experience. We went through a lot of growing pains last year and Maxwell’s definitely taking a step this year in the spring, progression-wise, making plays outside the pocket. Coach D having the quarterbacks being live makes it more game-like. Makes it more game-like. We’re on the right step.
Q: Has he done anything this spring after the plays that, Man I didn’t see that from him last year.
A: He took a big hit from Ezra in the scrimmage, and then the next play hit Lippett on the 20 yard pass and we were able to get the next play off. Nick Hill was able to score and we were able to win the scrimmage. The way he took that hit, I mean it was a really good hit. It scared Coach D a little bit. He came right back next play and made a play, so I was really proud of him right there.
Q: Have you seen him take off with his legs and go, Wow. I didn’t know that Max had that.
A: No, I knew he had some speed but with the knee injury last spring he was a little bit held back during the season. But he looks good.
Q: What’s the value of Saturday, versus all the practices that you’ve had. The scrimmages that have been closed to us and to the fans. Is there value beyond…
A: Yeah, playing in front of people. Especially the younger players haven’t really played in Spartan Stadium, played in front of 20-30,000 people. Just get their feet wet, playing and catching the ball in front of a crowd.
Q: Is it important to show where the offense has come or the improvements to this point for you? Or does that matter as long as they’re in August or September?
A: In September and August is where it matters the most.
Q: Last year at the kids clinic you turned to me and just talked about how you loved this. You were laying on the ground, kids were tackling you. You’re a big kid yourself. How much do you enjoy the kids clinic?
A: I enjoy it a lot, putting smiles on those kids’ faces. Just them having fun and coming out here interacting with us is a good time. So I enjoy it a lot.
Q: How much has Coach Samuel emphasized the physical or get nasty aspect of the wide receivers?
A: He emphasizes it every day, along with Coach D. Coach D came in there to our position room a couple weeks ago and he really got on us. We have to make more concerted effort to go after, attack the DB’s and play more physical. So we harp on that every day. We’ve played with a chip on our shoulders the last couple of weeks, trying to be more physical and run after the catch. As well as the blocking game.
Q: Are there drills that coaches stand beside to emphasize that?
A: Actually, effort when it comes to playing more physical. But anytime Coach D comes into your meeting room he’s gonna get his point across.
Q: Did he? He called guys out, didn’t he?
A: Oh yeah, no doubt. Went down the line and called every player out with what they do best and what they need to work on. Everybody went out that practice and it was a good practice for the receivers. We couldn’t step forward that day.
Q: When was that?
A: A couple weeks ago. On Tuesday.
Q: Nationally alot of people are saying again that wide receivers are a question mark at Michigan State. Not a weak point, because you guys have talent. But catching the ball… As the elder Statesman are you reminding your guys, Hey we all catch it. Doesn’t matter how good you look or how fast you are.
A: Oh yeah, no doubt. We remind each other every day. Drops aren’t acceptable and that‘s why we hard on each other, we get on each other that catching every pass you can’t takeit for granted.
Q: Do catches bring confidence or does confidence bring catches?
A: Both. You catch the ball you get a little bit more confidence. If you’re confident already you know you’re gonna catch the ball. That’s the way BJ caught the ball. He’s a confident person. He’d always catch it with his hands. Never even saw him catch it with his body. He was always a confident catcher. As Keshawn continued to catch more passes, he became more confident. So it depends on the person.
Q: The defense for 3 years now has been at the top 10 level. Have you guys ever take them for granted, that they’ll be there every day?
A: Nah, I don’t think we take them for granted. I’m very positive what Coach Narduzzi does with the defense, going against them every day brings the best out in us. We have to continue to bring that to the field.