Itâ€™s officially the Christmas season. I made my way across western Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and into beautiful Michigan. I was greeted with a wind from the north and a cold rain as I made my way toward my brotherâ€™s farm in Eaton Rapids. Throughout my 8.5-hour trek from D.C. yesterday (thatâ€™s 10 hours for those of you that work in law enforcement), I began to formulate my Spartan Christmas wish list. I do want to point out that 2007 was very good to Michigan State and a better 2008 would be outstanding. So he you go Spartan Nation. I made my list and I checked it twice.
Drew Neitzel: Weâ€™ll start with a Big Ten championship; follow it up with a trip to the Final Four, Big Ten Player of the Year and First Team All-American accolades. No one deserves it more than â€œD-Nite.â€ He is a tireless worker and a fearless leader.
Rick Comley: A GLI championship, followed by a CCHA championship and another Frozen Four appearance.
Jehuu Caulcrick: Four rushing touchdowns against BC, a successful NFL combine followed by a successful draft.
Jonal Saint-Dic: The â€œSackmasterâ€ needs a big day against Boston College. Three sacks, a forced fumble recovered for an MSU touchdown would be most deserved. Jonal is an MSU story with a happy ending. May his story continue on draft day.
Marquise Gray: Big Marquise needs a little luck to go with his tenacity and Flint basketball mentality. A full season of health and â€˜Quiseâ€™ is good for 10 points and 6 boards a game. A healthy, consistent Marquise Gray equals a Big Ten Championship and a deep run into the NCAA tournament.
Brian Hoyer: A strong outing against Boston Collegeâ€¦ 250 yards passing, 2 TDâ€™s, no INTâ€™s and a solid spring.
Goran Suton: When â€œGâ€ gets going early, his confidence blooms and MSU becomes nearly impossible to defend. So my Christmas wish for Goran is a strong start in each of his Big Ten games. I would really like to find him a TV broadcaster that can pronounce â€˜Sutonâ€™ consistently. Soo-tanâ€¦ Suttunâ€¦ it is getting pretty old and it isnâ€™t that hard guys.
Tom Izzo: Oh, this oneâ€™s easy!!! Load Tom up with a Big Ten Championship, another Final Four banner, a healthy Delvon Roe and a commitment from Dexter Strickland.
Greg Jones: Weâ€™ll start with a strong outing against the BC Eagles, a sensational sophomore season and a very athletic middle linebacker to compliment both he and Eric Gordon.
Mark Dantonio: Mark has been pretty darn good this year. His 7-5 record deserves some Christmas generosity. Letâ€™s fill Markâ€™s stocking with a Champs Bowl victory, a dominant left tackle at the conclusion of spring practice an upper tier Big Ten recruiting class and a victory over M-Rod in Ann Arbor next year.
Pat Narduzzi: An angry Ryan Wheat, another defensive end to go with Trevor Anderson and Nick Perry roaming the middle next seasonâ€¦that is just about right!!
Mark Hollis: A strong Spartan showing in Orlando.
Nick Foles: Give Nick an abundance of patience, couple it with a great spring and get him some snaps in 2008.
Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Chris Allen: Some thick skins, continued success at MSU on and off the court, a Big Ten Championship, a lightening quick fast break and a trip to the Final Four.
Javon Ringer: Javon has got to be on top of Santaâ€™s nice-guy list. Javon deserves every bit of his successâ€¦ 150 yards rushing against a stout BC defense, Champs Bowl MVP, a healthy spring and the 2008 Big Ten Player of the Year award.
Raymar Morgan: Five double-doubles during the Big Ten season, a consistent 3-point jumper and an NCAA regional MVP award.
Devin Thomas: 250 all-purpose yards against Boston College, a kick return for a touchdown, a clear conscience, either a first round draft pick or a 2008 Big Ten Championship with his Spartan teammates. Whatever you decide Devin, will be the right choice.
Suzy Merchant: A strong showing in the Big Ten Conference, a top tier class on signing day and a deep run into the NCAA tournament.
Travis Walton: Continued success as both a Spartan player and a leader, a spot atop the Big Tenâ€™s All-Defensive Team and a Big Ten Championship ring.
Well Spartan Nation, I know that my list doesnâ€™t include everyone, but you are all in my thoughts this holiday season. May your families find health and happiness throughout the Christmas holiday. May your loved ones in the military return safely from the war. May your table be filled with a big holiday ham and grandmaâ€™s Christmas pie. May your living room resonate with a childâ€™s laughter when you open your gifts. May you find peace in your heart if you are sad or down on your luck.
I was recently touring part of the former Soviet block. I can say without hesitation fellow Spartans, find happiness in the things that you have and the ones you love. As Americans and as members of the greater Spartan family, we have so much more prosperity than so many others in this world. No matter your political stand, know that you are truly blessed to be both an American and a Spartan. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.