Oregon secondary coach John Neal doesn't have to artificially inflate his players' regard for Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, because those returning from 2014 should have a clear memory of Cook throwing for 343 yards in a 46-27 win over the Spartans last year.
It's probably no accident that Neal sees some of Brady in the Spartans star, because Cook looks to Brady as a model for his own game. One key difference: Cook enters his final college season with far more notoriety as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Brady was far less regarded at Michigan on his way to being a sixth-round draft pick.
Last year, Cook (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) completed 212 of 365 passes (58 percent) for 3,214 yards, 24 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He is among the top quarterback prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft and College Football 24/7 experts voted him the No. 10 player in the college game. Cook will get another chance to beat the Ducks Saturday, at Michigan State, in the most highly anticipated game on the college football schedule for Week 2.