Scottie Hazelton Rebuilding Spartan Defense Under COVID-19 Restrictions

Hondo S. Carpenter

East Lansing, MI— When Scottie Hazelton, the new Michigan State defensive coordinator, took the job from Mel Tucker, little did he know that the COVID-19 restrictions were coming down the line like a steamroller at all of the sports worlds. But while he is self-professed as not a technology guy, he is navigating the waters of rebuilding a program, developing relationships, and all of the ancillary work in starting over, while at his home in Kansas.

Hazelton opened up about the challenge, while as usual for him, attacking it. “Well, I’m in Kansas right now, and it’s kind of crazy, but it’s actually going smoother than I thought it would when I first heard we’re going to do this. It’s a deal where it’s great to be able to at least get them in a classroom setting. I know that they’re all over the place; as coaches, we’re all over the place, but even if you meet as the staff, you know, you can watch it together you can go through, and you can talk ball with the position group or the whole defense. We have the ability to do that. I’m not that tech-savvy of a guy, you know, to be real, but it’s been a lot smoother than I thought it would be. I think that everyone has this challenge and I think that, here right now, I hope that we’re making the best of it. I feel like we’re starting to get in a position where we can talk ball with the guys, and they understand what we’re saying. And a lot of football, let’s be real, a lot of football is the communication they use with each other, and then we use with them, and if we can get that down, then it’s been a step ahead for whenever we do get on the field.”

Times are stressful for everyone. But adversity can draw you together as well. Watching Michigan State handled transition during difficult times, may bring this team together even faster.

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