Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/8/12

Only 23 days remain until the 2012 Michigan State football team takes the field against Boise State on Friday, Aug. 31, at Spartan Stadium. Meanwhile, Wednesday, Aug. 8, was the first practice in full pads and a brand new experience for the incoming freshmen.

“I feel real comfortable,” said Demetrious Cox, an advertising major and a four-star recruit from Jeanette, Pa., “trying to have fun, trying to get the groove of things, the speed of the game in practice.”

True freshman safety #7 Demetrious Cox

Cox said that he looks up to some of the veterans in the back of the defense, such as juniors Darquezze Dennard and Isaiah Lewis, but is ready to contribute and make plays this year, and perhaps earn a starting role at the free safety position.

“Even before camp started I was coming up, trying to get in as much film, as much learning as I could,” Cox said. “Now I’m just trying to put that extra effort in, try to be first in all the lines. These are good coaches, they know what they’re doing. If I’m ready to step in and contribute, they’re gonna have me in there.”

Cox, a who was a black belt in Karate at the age of 6, has the all the tools to become a Spartandawg on defense.

“We gotta eat, we hungry, we out here hungry for the Big Ten,” Cox said. “To be where we want to be, everybody has to contribute. Everybody has to make big plays and do big things.”

On the other side of the ball is wide receiver Monty Madaris from Cincinnati, Ohio. When asked if there is something that the entire Michigan State student body should know about him, Madaris replied: “I’m quiet, I’m kinda shy. I’m a shy guy.”

The 6’2″, 190-pound wide-out feels he is in the mix of being one of the top six receivers in this season’s rotation.

“I bring speed, I’m very aware of my surroundings,” said Madaris, who hasn’t decided on a major at the moment. “No one comes into college wanting to redshirt.”

Madaris came at a great time to contribute, with the departure of last year’s receiving corps including B.J. Cunningham, KeShawn Martin, and Keith Nichol.

True freshman #7 Tyler O’Connor

Who very well could be the starting quarterback for Michigan State two or three years from now, Tyler O’Connor is more than happy to wait for his time and redshirt this fall.

“I came into my role accepting that,” the 6-foot-3, 202-pound quarterback from Lima, Ohio said. “Andrew Maxwell is only going to be a junior and I’ve got a lot to learn. That’s definitely something I expected, almost anywhere I went. Redshirting is definitely something that almost every quarterback does across the country so I’m definitely willing to accept that and hopefully when my time comes I’m ready.”

O’Connor, who’s favorite sport was basketball until his junior year in high school, realized quickly that it’s going to take time to get used to the speed and quickness of college football.

“I’ve had a couple balls where I’m like, ‘Oh man that one’s perfect and then you see Johnny Adams coming across the field and making a play,” said O’Connor, who is also undecided on a major. “I would say I’m definitely still a ‘Spartanpup.’ I don’t know how they count that. I definitely haven’t proved myself on the field. I’m trying to do so with going against one of the best defenses in the country. As soon as I make it through camp, hopefully I can be called a Spartandawg.”

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