Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Hondo, I want to thank you for all of your question and answers articles. They are really informative. I have what I think is a simple question. How big of an impact will Malik McDowell have on this team this year? I have a bet with an old college roommate that he will be the B1G defensive player of the year. Brent

If you are the one betting that he WILL win the award try to get out of that bet NOW. I don’t think he will be the best freshman defensive player on this team, let alone the best defensive player in the entire conference. Great player, but man some of you people need to understand recruiting rankings don’t translate immediately (if at all) when you step on the field at a place like MSU. He is a pup, let him grow.

Hondo I have heard you say multiple times during this camp that you DID NOT expect Malik McDowell to play this season. That you thought he would redshirt. Never have you reported it, just that it is your opinion. Do you still fell that way? Curt Ryan

Yes. I do not expect Malik to play this year. Not saying he won’t. I’m saying I do not expect. There is a difference between reporting and giving opinion. I think I do a pretty good job of expressing when it is one or the other.

Hondo great job nailing your prediction on captains. I am curious why you never thought Connor Cook would be elected when all of the other media said he would on their Twitter accounts unlike you. Lou

Because he wasn’t a member of the Eagles Council and you can’t be elected a captain unless you are part of that group. Connor is a great QB, and a good young man, but he needs to grow as a leader. The position gives him that place, and he all you have to do is look at the hardware, but they need more out of him.

Hondo you did a true insider job predicting the captains. I understand that Connor Cook wasn’t elected because he wasn’t an Eagle leader. How many of those are there and is it time to panic that he isn’t? Do they rotate so was he just not on? Melanie

There are 12. Panic? No, but it is a germane concern that with all the hype and potential that he has, that he isn’t. That is fair, it definitely is a place of concern and I know that Cook’s ability to lead this team is being watched closely. There is a lot to leading. With 105 guys on a team, and 12 Eagles Council leaders, you have a star QB (who many feel could leave for the NFL at the end of the year) on a team with true national title hopes that isn’t at least an Eagle let alone a captain, it should concern you. I had an NFL scout I know very well ask me moments after it was announced what that is about. I wouldn’t panic, but concern is legit. In the NFL they VALUE leadership from a high pick QB and they want to see it in a young man they will invest millions in at the most important position.  Make this clear, it is important for Connor’s future that he continue to grow, but this team will be fine.  If I was a betting man, I would not bet against Cook.  He’ll be fine.

Hondo can you give me a name of the person who maybe had the best camp for the defense? Matt

Sure I can. Riley Bullough. I would not be shocked at all if he moves at some point into a starters role.  Another name is Lawrence Thomas.  He came through with a great camp.

Hondo how big of a deal is it that Cook isn’t a captain? Tim R.

Kirk Cousins was elected a captain before he was a starter. He was a leader. Guys followed him. Cook is liked, but leaders aren’t always liked. I know guys that were furious at Cousins, but respected him and followed him. Same with Max Bullough. Andrew Maxwell was a captain in 2012, he led but was not in 2013 voted captain when the job was up for battle. Maxwell was such a leader that I have reported and Dantonio agreed on my radio show that last year would not have happened without his leadership and he was a backup. QB is the most important position and you need more from a leadership role than any other position on offense.

Hondo what are you hearing about the scrimmages? Are they competitive? Zach

Oh yes. In fact the pads were popping so hard last Friday (one week ago) that Dantonio ended the scrimmage early. I had MORE THAN ONE person who saw last week’s scrimmage tell me that, “It was the best of the Dantonio era” and that it was a, “Blood bath” and “savagely.” Read anything you want into it, but it was brutal.

Hondo with MSU not putting out a release on the last scrimmage of camp (yesterday) any word on an MVP offensively? Pat

Gerald Holmes had a great scrimmage yesterday.

Hondo what one thing encourages you most coming out of camp? Pete Wynn

Great question Pete. My biggest concern with this team entering the year was how conservative they can be on offense and start slow. Dantonio made it clear to me that they are going after points and coming out on the attack. For that single one reason I am most encouraged. They have the weapons, Cook can do so many things when loosed and it’s time.

Hondo I just want to thank you for the amazing and unbridled coverage of MSU sports. You consistently are ahead of the curve on so many things and the fact you run the site on donations is amazing. Just want you to know I appreciate it. Todd

Thanks Todd. I appreciate you kind words thanks for donating and please support our sponsors.

Thank you for your recent email and questions.  If you have a question for Hondo’s regular Q/A article please send it to : and put in the subject line Q/A/


About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.

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