January 1, 2010

Video: Dantonio says Nichol will play at receiver

SAN ANTONIO - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio confirmed what has been hinted at throughout the week, that sophomore quarterback Keith Nichol will play wide receiver for the Spartans in the 2010 Alamo Bowl.

Nichol, a transfer from Oklahoma, who began the season as a co-starter at quarterback with Kirk Cousins has split reps between quarterback and receiver during bowl practice. Dantonio said during his press conference Friday that Nichol had the measurable of a bigger, faster, and stronger Blair White. Like White, Nichol is an outstanding leaper. The former Lowell (Mich.) star has a vertical leap of 38 inches. He is also 6-foot-2, 220-pounder.

While Dantonio was answering questions at the podium about Nichol, interim Texas Tech coach appeared to be texting. He may have been letting his assistant coaches know that the Spartans intend for Nichol to have an expanded role at wide out. It is unclear how big a role Nichol will have against Tech. Dantonio might have been releasing a weather balloon. At the very least, the Nichol news will give the Red Raider staff something more to prepare for as game time approaches.

Dantonio said that he felt that Nichol's emergence at wide receiver is one of the positive stories leading up to the bowl game. The third-year Spartan head coach said that no decision would be made at this point whether Nichol would stick at quarterback or move to receiver permanently. Dantonio indicated that Nichol would be at quarterback during the spring.

The last time Nichol played a position other than quarterback in a football game was during the month of October in 2006.

Nichol lined up at free safety for Lowell in a regional playoff game against Muskegon, which featured USC's Ronald Johnson and former Michigan State running back Ashton Leggett.

Muskegon won that game, but Nichol contained the explosive Southern Cal star better than any other defensive back that lined up against the state's No. 1 player that season.


If you are unable to watch the flash video embedded in the story above, click the link below to watch today's press conference with Dantonio and McNeil.

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