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Michigan State Fans Must Learn to Trust the Mark Dantonio Process

The Mark Dantonio era at Michigan State has been nothing short of miraculous. It has been a rebuilding effort paired with a ‘take no short cuts approach’. The sleeping green giant woke from its slumber on several occasions throughout the past forty years. Never has the green giant stood poised with mace in hand ready to stomp out teams like it has over the last couple seasons.

There’s nothing fancy about the Dantonio formula. It is quite simple. You lock arms with a consistent staff that buys into your brand of ball. You recruit the kids that want to be Spartans. You scour Michigan and Ohio for talent in your backyard. You then move the process beyond the Midwest and onto the national landscape finishing strong with kids of high character and the desire to play on a major stage.

We have debated recruiting publications and star rankings on this site so much we have plum worn out the subject. What MSU fans need to do now is trust the process and trust this Spartan staff. We will probably never “out-recruit” Michigan, Ohio State or Notre Dame on paper, but at the end of the day it all comes down to the product on football Saturdays.

The Spartans know how to win. The talent is so stockpiled all over this roster that freshmen rarely need to be counted on to play or make a huge impact. The way that championships are won is through a five-year process. It allows kids to mature, get their feet under them academically, get their bodies built physically in the weight room and learn the ever-complex nature of the sport they play.

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Mark Dantonio clearly doesn’t care about the rankings handed down by recruiting services. If he did, he wouldn’t have taken guys like Cousins (2*), Bell (2*), Foreman (2*), Robinson (2*) and Pickelman (2*). Keyshawn Martin didn’t even have a star ranking until a few weeks before signing day. What do all these players have in common? They were all starters for MSU’s Championship teams. They won a Big Ten title. They won the Outback Bowl against a powerful SEC squad. Most of these guys will line up on Sunday for an NFL team. They were all high character kids that did the right thing while they played for MSU. They are our green giants.

The shear numbers in this 2012 recruiting class will likely give the Spartans a middle of the pack ranking. Frankly speaking, there aren’t a lot of scholarships to go around. If this MSU staff offers a kid a scholarship than they must know something that the recruiting publications don’t. We have time for raw athletes to develop in this MSU system. We don’t rely on immediate impact players and this is a good thing. We have a program that cultivates five-year players. Teams win close games with upperclassmen. It is experience coupled with solid talent and conditioning that often makes the difference. It was clearly the case when we played Georgia.

Part of a winning football culture falls on the fan base. MSU fans have had a chip on their shoulders for years listening to the ever-tiresome Michigan blowhards who win with a sense of entitlement. We have to put our faith in the product that Mark Dantonio has produced. Michigan State fans need to vigilantly defend our team, but never forget to celebrate the success and handle the success we’ve been given as though we’ve been here before. 

Michigan State is now a program that is hunted. We are feared. Your Wolverine buddies are all waiting for Hoke-A-Mania to take over the state. It isn’t going to happen. They are playing catch-up. I expect this rivalry to continue to blossom and Michigan will win some along the way. Michigan State will compete for a championship on a regular basis. We will do it with our brand of ball and our type of kid. Enjoy the success. Don’t let some hack with a website determine your level of happiness on signing day.