Answering Your Michigan State Football Emails and Questions...

Hondo S. Carpenter

Hey Hondo, Question about Chris Norman. I was wondering what you think about his draft prospects. I know you've stated that because of the nature of his position he's not always in position to make the highlight reel plays like Denicos, but do you think NFL scouts have noticed him, especially considering he's been a three year starter and someone that is picked by several people to be named a captain this year? Thanks. Adam

His play is noticed. I talked with one of my NFL friends last night and asked him your question. He said, "He is a blue collar lunch bucket guys and the NFL loves that. He has to demonstrate that he can stay healthy and play an entire season right now." There you go!

Hondo, Although every game on the schedule is huge no matter who you play, how does a week 1 match up with Powerhouse Boise St. change fall camp preparation as opposed to historically scheduling lesser opponents in week 1? Are the coaches forced to push the guys harder and risk injuries in order to be ready for a fast and athletic Boise and does the timing of this game potentially jeopardize the rest of the season especially the B1G/Legends Division Championship journey? thanks, Ryan

Great question and I asked Dantonio about it. It adds fire certainly as I have personally heard players talk about this game as soon as UGA was over and ever since. He said, "I think everyone is always excited for the first game," and I agree.  But the level of intensity is much bigger all year when the first game is a Boise or a Cal. There may be no change all game week, but I can personally attest that there is from soon after the last game up to the game week.



Hondo Comments: Depth, depth, depth. It's all we've heard about during camp this summer. What a great problem to have...what a great time to be a Spartan fan! We've been quite lucky during the Dantonio era in regards to attrition. My question is how are the boys handling the competition in regards to those who are relegated to third string. Are we going to see more transfers? Thanks Hondo for all you do for Spartan Nation. I don't always agree with you, but I always respect your opinion! Darrell

Hi Darrell, who knows what the future holds. I am sure we will always see in a program like Dantoio runs players who graduate like Deyo leave to go play their senior year. When you are winning you do see less.  Bobby Bowden once told me that, "When a guy leaves to go play, you feel bad he is leaving, but you know you done got a kid that loved the game and wanted to play and you at least evaluated that right when you recruited him.  When he leaves and quits football without an injury, you know you probably failed." Attrition is part of the game. As long as you get kids who compete, you expect it in the process. 



 Hondo, Since Mark Dantonio has earned a reputation as a head coach who is a very good judge of talent, as well as one who coaches up that talent better than anyone, Michigan State seems to be uniquely positioned to compete. It could be argued, however, that his principle teaching impact is on the defensive side of the ball. My concern is that the offensive brain trust at Michigan State is going to have to raise its game in order to keep pace with the Urban Meyers and Bill O'Briens of this world. Do the Spartans have the coaching firepower on the offensive side of the ball to provide the teaching fundamentals and engagement that may become the new norm in the Big 10? As I watched the MSU Spring game, I wasn't left with the impression from the live mike that Dantonio can supply that to the offense himself. Am I right to believe that this will necessarily become a new area of emphasis? Will we see a future addition to the MSU staff on the offensive side to address this? Glenn

I have no clue how to answer this. Listening to a live MIC on a coach you got an impression? I will remind you that O'Brien has done nothing and Charlie Weis was regarded as a much bigger offensive savant and how has he done? Mark Dantonio has been and will remain locked in on what this team needs. Is he going to be loyal to any coach on any side that isn't cutting the mustard? We shall see, but I think to base anything on an open MIC is putting way too much importance on it. When it comes to fundamentals, he has stressed it since day one and expected it. No worries. If the tide turns and coaches don't change with it the loyalty question may come in, but far from it now.



Hondo, Coach Narduzzi likes rotating guys in and out to keep them fresh. Does the quick offensive pace of several B1G teams impact his ability to do that? I'm wondering if hurry-up opponents might prevent his "money down" squad from getting on the field for 3rd downs. Steve

Great question and no. Here is why, if the O substitutes so can the D. In situations that guys don't change this D is in shape and in today's modern offenses, it is IMPOSSIBLE to go an inordinate amount of plays without the O making some type of change. That, my friend, is NOTHING to worry about.


Hondo, I was up looking at a spread sheet and I am concerned about the guard spot for 2014. How do you feel? Peter

Peter, I think you have far too much time. In 2014 the Spartans will have plenty of talent. Look at the roster and you will be able to rest.


Hello Mr. Carpenter. I am a Boise State fan so I don't know if you take letters and questions from other schools. If so can you tell me what concerns you most about the Spartans v Broncos from our side? If you don't take stuff from other fans I do appreicate all your free information and respectful comments about our program. Kyle

We sure do take your questions Kyle and thank you. As long as your coach is back you are a threat. He is among the elite in the nation. He keeps you on the map and important. He is a brilliant tactician, a super evaluator of talent, and a better developer of that talent. He does things the right way and he will be the single best coach MSU will face this year. That is what I am worried about with you. Dantonio is much the same, this will be a heavyweight fight. MSU is loaded with talent and that edge is what I think they use to win this game, but I have great respect for this program.


Hondo, I love your interviews and one thing you love to ask is what people are happy with and not happy with. I would like to turn the tables with you and ask with the 2012 team, what are you most happy with and concerned with. Tracy

OK, I like it. Turning the tables. Well, happy would be the depth. It is not good, it is amazing. Remember that depth doesn't mean a body. It means someone with talent who can step up and play and the Spartans have it on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Not happy with? The amount of live reps Maxwell has got over his career. This is a great staff, but they failed miserably last year in getting Maxwell more meaningful reps. There will be some fog with Andrew and that is normal, but there didn't have to be and that bothers me when starting with such a great program in Boise.


Hondo, I am a Cornhusker guy and recently I heard you out here on the radio saying that you think Nebraska is a coach away from being great. I just caught the end of it, could you elaborate please. Chris

Hi Chris and sure. Nebraska is an elite program. Bo costs you games every year with bad coaching. I think every fan base should donate to the Keep Bo in Lincoln fund if one exists. You have great history, super fans, and your program is elite. In my humble opinion, you deserve better than what you have gotten. Just look at the Northwestern loss last year and every other year he has been in Lincoln.



Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.