Dantonio Understands: It Takes Quality Kids to Make Quality Spartans

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I’m sure by now everyone has seen those NCAA commercials that say majority of their student-athletes will go on to be professionals in areas other than sports. Well not only has MSU adopted this philosophy, they’re also trying to instill that concept into their recruiting.


For the Spartans the days of going out to get the biggest, the fastest, and the strongest kids they can have, now has been supplemented with getting the brightest athletes as well. The whole concept of recruiting for the Spartan nation is not only to make a recruit a premier athlete but, also to make them premier students. Success in the classrooms will lead to success on the field, court, or wherever one may play.


MSU coaches don’t believe that scholarships are just checks the university writes just so a player can come in and focus on sports and just cruise through school.


"We have an obligation to the entire Spartan Nation when we offer a young man a scholarship. He not only has to have the ability to play football at this level, but we look very hard at him off the field to make sure he fits what we expect both in the classroom and out in public." says Coach Mark Dantonio.


According to various university professors the percentage of college athletes that go pro in either football or men’s basketball is less than 3% combined. With that in mind it is not only the coaches job to put together a strong team in order to compete with the rest of the Big-10 but, coaches Dantonio and Izzo must also make these young men aware of these statistics and guide them so that they don’t put all their focus on playing sports. So far they have been doing an excellent job at producing both.


"Certainly the student athletes have to be able to play the game of football, but we certainly like kids who play other sports, and do well in school. We are fortunate that Coach Dantonio really instills that we want to see how a kid relates to his community. We look at charity work, or if he is involved in church or special olympics. We want well rounded players that fit not only into our scheme of how we play football, but also into the Michigan State family," says offensive coordinator Don Treadwell.


MSU is trying to recruit players who will bring the same intensity, hard work, and dedication that they have for their sports and transfer that over to their studies as well; players that will become professionals in the future no matter what they decide to go into. Players such as Drew Naymick, who balanced working hard at becoming a better athlete and at being an academic scholar, and Kirk Cousins who recently posted a 4.0 average in his core classes.


Now lets not play dumb. Kids have to be talented, but the risks of the past are not happening.



MSU wants to continue a trend of bringing in high-talent, quality recruits who also show the ability to become good students and good quality people overall.