Cousins comfortable as Michigan State's leader

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins began his senior season in impressive fashion -- not by throwing a long touchdown pass, but by giving a speech.

Cousins spoke late last month at a Big Ten kickoff luncheon, and after calling it a "privilege" to play in the conference, he talked at length about the responsibility college athletes have as representatives of their schools and as role models. When he was done, Cousins received a standing ovation that surprised him -- but nobody who knows the affable quarterback should have been shocked.

Cousins turned heads all over the Big Ten last season with his composure while he led the Spartans to 11 wins. Now he's back for his third year as a starter, hoping to help Michigan State to even greater heights.