Spartan Football Is All Grown Up!



Mark Dantonio has layed the foundation and has the Spartans on high ground.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.
Mark Dantonio has layed the foundation and has the Spartans on high ground. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Spartan Football is growing up. There are a lot of arguments to support my statement. The team will go to its fourth straight bowl game. A eleven-win season is within reach. The coaching staff has stability. And recruiting has been consistent. The recruiting angle is in my opinion the biggest difference in the MSU program. Our staff does a fantastic job evaluating talent and landing the kids that fit our system.


Remember when we all used to sit around and hope and pray that one of the top kids in the Midwest would choose Michigan State? Remember all of the bridge jumping when guys like Barksdale, Perry, RoJo and Nichol (the first time around) chose to play somewhere else? That brings me to the real point of this article. Why was everyone hanging by a thread over the latest Twitter from star recruits?


Readers of Spartan Nation weren’t shocked when the latest, “Can’t miss star” didn’t come to MSU. We said that months ago. In fact Hondo said on the radio weeks prior, “He won’t be a Spartan” and took immense criticism for stating a fact.


Some other media outlets got wrapped up in the drama. One particular writer actually made it sound like MSU was reeling from the Arnett decision and that the loss of Arnett was a gigantic blow to overcome. It may have been to SOME in the media, but this staff wasn’t side swiped and neither were the staff and readers of Spartan Nation.


Once upon a time, they would have been correct in their assessment. Once upon a time, the MSU fan base needed a big –timer just to feel like we landed anyone. Those days are long over. Michigan State football is now selective. Just like Izzo’s program, Dantonio’s project has come a long way. Dantonio’s program, like Izzo’s doesn’t hinge on the commitment of one eighteen year old kid. 


Much of what I have come to understand about stability in college football revolves around talent and character. You have to continually recruit both if you are going to stay at the top. It is no secret that MSU football has had its share of off the field problems. The reality is that MSU is turning out a better product and the quality of student athletes around the Daugherty Building is on the rise. Is tweeting three different commitments to keep fans guessing really consistent with the type of behavior that Mark Dantonio embodies and respects? Is this the type of ‘look at me’ celebrity drama that MSU needs around the ‘Duff’?


We aren’t going to get all the kids that we want. Some talented kids are going to go elsewhere and some talented kids aren’t necessarily needed. Think about the receiver position at MSU next year. Cunningham, Nichol, Martin, Fowler, Mumphrey, Spencer, Langford and Lippett will be adequate. We haven’t even seen half of these guys and they have been lighting up the scout team.


My point is simple; the hype is overrated. One eighteen-year old kid doesn’t make a recruiting class, let alone a football program. Somewhere is the next recruiting class is another Keyshawn Martin or Le’Veon Bell. We are in uncharted waters. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Dantonio is captain of the Spartan ship. As long as he is at the helm, MSU football will be a brand name on the recruiting trail.