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Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…

Hey Hondo, So what was the best thing about this year’s Cotton Bowl? Your new appreciation for Texas cuisine? Spartan fans want to know. Yours Texas Rick

I love Texas, Rick and any time I get to eat at Pappasittos it is a good day. With that said, I found a new restaurant called Habaneros and I found a new beverage called aqua fresca. I loved the strawberry, pineapple and banana. If you haven’t tried it, you should.

Hondo, How many years of eligibility does Craig Evans have left? Do you see him as a starter next year at tackle with Lawrence Thomas moving to DE? Randy

He has three remaining. I don’t see him as a starter. There were many people (even inside the program) that felt he should have redshirted. He can be a dominant player, but with Joel Heath, Damon Knox, Lawrence Thomas, and Malik McDowell (even if one of them goes to the DE spot) I just don’t see him pushing the starters’ roles.

Hondo, Although I am all for parents receiving financial help for travel to post season play such as a national championship (in football this year) or Final Four, what about the sports that basically do not generate revenue? Do each and every parent of a player on a football roster receive funds? Starters all the way down to the 3rd string kicker? Seems only fair. Jacob Boyer OK City, OK

I assume you are talking about the NCAA allowing the College Football Playoff to pay the expenses of the parents to attend the semi and final games. I support that ALL revenue-producing sports programs be able to do this. If your sport is a non-revenue producer, I don’t. In today’s world of give me, give me everything for free, the reality is that just because something is called free doesn’t mean it is. It’s not. Someone has to pay. So the women’s basketball team at Tennessee, volleyball at Nebraska, and women’s golf at MSU are all examples of programs that make money. If they should have post season success, I support paying to bring the parents. If they don’t, sorry. This give give give mentality is going to cost sports dearly. If every sport gets the same revenue assistance, I promise you THEY WILL START CUTTING SPORTS around the nation. Certain sports generate ENORMOUS revenue, but you can only split the pie so much.Â

Dear Hondo: Now that the football season is over, I'm curious about your insights regarding the injury to Connor Cook in the Jacksonville State game. It was never used as an excuse for his throwing off the back foot during the season, but far too often, his passes seemed to sail high when he did so. I have long attributed that to a combination of inconsistent mechanics and injury, but I have wondered throughout the season if the Jacksonville State injury was the bigger problem. Glenn

Not sure if you remember, but I asked Mark Dantonio a very specific question about Cook. I had a doctor who has performed hundreds (that is not an exaggeration) of surgeries on professional athletes tell me that the way he moved, mechanics, and how he threw, suggested to him there was damage. He was not and is not Connor’s doctor, but he is an expert who made it clear he was only judging on what he saw from afar. Connor insists that there was no lingering damage and Dantonio said, “There is none that I have been made aware of.” That said, I expect him to get a thorough look this off season and I won’t be shocked if there is some.

Hondo; I know there are a thousand and one variables, but what is your way too early guess for the 2015 season MSU record. The schedule is not kind! Thanks, and Be Blessed! Doug Cross

Right now and I reserve the right to look at this again in the late summer when I detail and look at MSU after spring and every opponent, I would say 9-3. That could change, but that is my way too early prediction. MSU had some big losses on this team from 2014 to 2015. I just need more time to evaluate.

Considering MSU played both Oregon and OSU, what is normal, customary, and reasonable in terms of competitive information sharing from Dantonio's team? Would the Spartan coaches be expected to provide 1:1 telephone discussions with the requesting coaching staffs or is it up to the MSU staff what info they provide, if requested? Don Hack

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There is NO expectation. None at all. IT is purely up to Coach Dantonio on how much information he or his staff would disseminate.

Hondo, it seems that too often a team loses momentum during a bye week. I trust your experience as well as any comments made by coaches. Ed Kaiser

Thanks Ed. Don’t have stats, but bye weeks can be a real drag. Unfortunately, the game of football is violent and EVERY team has injuries. Bye weeks are so valuable for the aches and pains of hurting that you have to gather that in. For the most part, if a team is healthy (rarely past game two or three) I hate them. If they aren’t, the good outweighs the bad. Not of the big injury that everyone knows about like a guy with a torn MCL, but all the little injuries that you don’t know about and guys are playing through.

Hondo, can you give me one name that didn’t get a ton of attention this year that you think this time next year everyone will be talking about? Kent Norman

Chris Frey, Jr. is an amazing kid as a person, super football player, and a game changer. Leader. Beast. Tough as nails. Only will be a true SOPHOMORE next year and already one of my all-time favorite Spartans. If you know me, that doesn’t come with just football talent; that is on and off the field. He’s a real deal and all you have to do is hear his teammates talk about him. Move over Marshawn Lynch, because Webster’s Dictionary is going to put Frey’s picture next to the word Beastmode before all is said and done. Great player, better person. He will be on the cover of the May Spartan Nation Magazine and for the story you will get to know him more as a person than a football player.

I hope to the football gods that we're going to get a RBs coach for next year, or at least a reassignment so we don't forget about kids during games like Delton Williams was this year. Do you see MSU making such a move? Alberto in Miami Beach

That is on OC Dave Warner and I agree that something has to be changed to make sure that never happens again. When the head coach says once that he is disappointed a kid doesn’t play it can happen. But two or three times? Issues. Don’t think it was intentional by Coach Warner at all, but it was very clearly an issue.

I get so many emails that I simply can’t use every one in this article. Not even close. Many are rather lengthy and I can’t use those either in their entirety. Your best chance is to have a short two sentence question. From time to time we use longer questions, but edit them only for length without trying to edit out the questioner and his/her intent. In my last Q/A article I did that. The person responded saying I “twisted” their email. That is never our intention, but I did go back and look out of respect. I still do not think I did, but I can see with how the email was next to others they could see it that way. Because I could see their point, I let them ask it again so I can address it. Here you go:

Despite the fact that it is not against the rules (and not an uncommon business practice) for a coach going to a new program to continue to recruit the prospects they've developed a relationship with for their new program, will Coach Narduzzi refrain from recruiting MSU commits/prospects to Pitt out of respect for the relationship he has with Coach Dantonio? Frank Castillo

He will not refrain from recruiting prospects, but will refrain from commits. However, if a commit contacts him on his own, he WOULD listen. Dantonio brought some recruits from Cincy and even one transfer in Trevor Anderson, this is open. Narduzzi will not go after MSU commitments unless they contact him, but any prospect is wide open or any player that should ask him about transferring. If any of that should happen, Pat will have done nothing wrong by the rules or disrespectful to Dantonio or MSU.

Hondo, you have been very vocal about Tressel and Barnett being promoted as a good thing and very supportive. I do want to know what you think will be the biggest difference? Ben

Easy, I do not think the MSU defense will be as aggressive as it has been in the past. Neither one of them is as aggressive as Pat. So I expect more aggressive than most, but more conservative than the Spartans have been previously.

There you go everyone. That is your weekly MSU football questions and answers article. Make sure you send your questions to and put in the subject line Football Q/A. Thank you.