April 14, 2008

Video: Hoyer, Miller on Green and White Game draft

EAST LANSING - Michigan State seniors, split into teams of Green and White, chose teams through a draft process in the auditorium at the Clara Bell Smith Center on Monday.

The draft was much different than an average fantasy football draft as players and coaches from both sides argued passionately about picks, player positions, and a forced trade at the end of the draft that sent junior center Joel Nitchman to the Green team in exchange Mike Schmeding and sophomore linebacker Eric Gordon.

Self-appointed draft commissioner Mark Dantonio stepped aside from his role as head coach to mediate it the deal because the Green squad did not have a center. The deal was greeted with applause by the Green team and their head coach Dan Roushar who beseeched Dantonio to give his team a center. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi also took up the Green team's case.

Brian Hoyer may have a future as a trial lawyer after his football career is done. At one point, Hoyer jumped up on stage to let Dantonio know that his White Team deserved to retain the rights to Nitchman, whom they took with their first pick on offense.

Hoyer's White team had the better draft strategy. They would have been rewarded for that strategy had Dantonio not intervened to level the playing field.

"Our strategy worked out real well," said Hoyer. "They had to make some trades to make it equal for those guys. But I still like our team on the board over here."
Hoyer did take a couple of good natured jabs at Narduzzi in post-draft interviews.
"Narduzzi was up here crying on the stage," said Hoyer. "I had to come and kick him out a little bit and now he wants to make me live."

During the draft process, Narduzzi jokingly told Hoyer that he would make him a live quarterback if he didn't sit down and stop arguing about the Nitchman move.

"Nitchman was traded for us," said Hoyer still chafing a bit. "Then we got Gordon for Brandon Denson because Gordon was a starter and that was supposed to equal out Nitchman being a starter I guess. You've got to have a strategy going into it and obviously, they didn't have a good enough strategy. We picked all of the guys we wanted. I think the only guy they got that we really wanted was Charlie Gantt."

Green team captain Jesse Miller admitted that his team did not put enough thought into the draft process. But the big Spartan tackle didn't feel bad that his team had Nitchman on their side.

"You've got to make some noise to get what you want," said Miller. "It was needed, we got our center and it all worked out."


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