Lansing East – Michigan State Receiver Montorie Foster is not used to watching movies.
Not a football movie, of course.
The Cleveland product played college basketball before joining the St. Edward’s High School football team in his senior year. He hadn’t been on the grill since sixth year.
But the sport came back naturally. He quickly received an offer to join the 2020 Spartans promotion.
Foster came to East Lansing with the goal of getting stronger, faster, and mastering the MSU playbook.
He played a bigger role last Saturday in the Spartans’ 40-29 loss to Purdue in place of junior wide receiver Jalen Nailor. Nailor had suffered a right hand injury the week before against Michigan and had not made the trip to West Lafayette.
That left Foster, the 6-foot, 180-pound second, with some fieldwork to do and even bigger work in the movie theater afterward. He had three catches for 33 yards against the Boilermakers.
“I felt like the physics of the game were totally different from training and our coaches talk about it all the time,” Foster said Tuesday of his review of the Purdue movie. “I just get better at the little things like hand placement and mastering routes and stuff like that. (I want to) focus on that in pre-game training so that I can be prepared and ready to go to Maryland.
“I’m pretty athletic, but athleticism can’t get you this far. I realize this and I chose to tighten the screws on the little bits of my game to improve myself.
MSU senior security Xavier Henderson said he noticed an improvement in Foster’s play, especially in the maturity and control with which he plays on the pitch.
“When he first got here it was easy to see how explosive he was, he can really jump out of the gym,” said Henderson. “I think he’s improved a lot just with his road race. … Montorie is the best when you just throw the ball and let it go get it. He does crazy plays.
Against Purdue, the Spartans and Foster agreed, not getting the little things under control proved problematic.
Tight Ends coach Ted Gilmore said MSU players identified issues before hearing from coaches.
“I have no doubts that every kid has watched (movie) more than once before they even reach us,” Gilmore said. “It was one of those meetings where, at least for me, I didn’t go yelling at them about this and that.” It was to underline the obviousness that we do every week. … This was the one they took coaching, no one was offended and they were ready to move on and try to get that bad taste out of our mouths.
Getting back to basics is not a new approach for the Spartans (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten). Most of the mistakes against Purdue were the ones the team had seen before.
“If you look at the (previous) games, we’ve already given up passing yards, we’ve given some big yards to some teams, we’ve had too many penalties. … So there were little things in the games before we got into it, ”said Henderson. “It’s just a slap when you lose a game. … When you win matches, everything gets better. So you talk about it, but you don’t really nail it the way you need to. “
This week the focus is on the Terrapins (5-4, 2-4) and the finer points.
There is no better way to do this than with a film study that Foster learns.
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Jayna Bardahl is a freelance writer.