Andrew Maxwell will get the first chance to drive Michigan State's offense this season, with three other quarterbacks waiting for their chance behind the wheel.
''I'm comfortable we have a No. 1 quarterback,'' Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday of Maxwell, a fifth-year senior. ''He was the No. 1 quarterback last year. And he gained some experience with that. He had some balls dropped, and we've got to protect him, run the football and do the things that surround him as well.
''But he has great knowledge of our system. I think he's competitive. He has great leadership skill. And like I told him today, `Here's the keys. Bring it back full.' I think he'll do that.''
Dantonio praised all four candidates for the job, including three more mobile alternatives: sophomore Connor Cook and freshmen Tyler O'Connor and Damion Terry. All are listed as first-team quarterbacks, with their names separated by ''or'' on the depth chart for Friday night's opener against Western Michigan.