The Spartans are hungry to repeat as the Big Ten champions. Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.


News, Notes, and Thoughts from Spartan Football


All the current stories re recruiting are about high school juniors who will play their senior year this fall. They are 16-17 year old teenage boys and a lot can happen between now and this fall, so, wouldn’t it be better to wait until after they have played their senior year of HS football before offering our limited scholarships? Pete from Midland

Great question Pete, but let me explain.  The players who are getting offers right now are young men who already have the film that shows they can play at this level.  The NCAA rules allow their recruitment now.  In February this crop of players will sign.  I think basketball has gotten out of hand with how young they offer and at some schools football.  Lane Kiffin, the football coach at USC, offered a 7th grade QB two years ago.  That is ridiculous.  There are always young men whose senior year warrants and gets an offer, but the ones getting them now have been determined to be ready.


Hondo, I was listening to former MSU safety Jesse Johnson on your radio show and something really stuck out.  Every single day while his mom had a prolonged sickness Coach Dantonio called Jesse.  Not only that but every other coach called Jesse at least twice, even the offense.  That told me a lot about the family that Mark Dantonio is building.  I was so proud to be a Spartan.  Jodi

Jodi, I never tire of hearing that stuff.  Amazingly, it is the rule and not the exception.  Mark Dantonio pledges to each and every parent when a young man commits to play football for him that he will treat him or her as his own son.  He does that and the parents appreciate it and so do the players.


Hondo, the recruiting coverage has been amazing and free.  I can’t say thank you enough.  Of the ten young men we have committed right now who is the best?  Dean

Dean, with all sincerity of heart I can tell you that top to bottom talent this could be the best class yet for Dantonio.  Every one of them is very talented and technique strong.  They are all so good.  I will tell you that the one that I think who has got far less coverage than he deserves is Jamal Lyles.  That youngster from Michigan is dynamic, athletic, smart, strong, and I could go on.  I am stunned how little attention he has got.  He is going to earn it on the field.


Hondo, you mentioned on your radio show that Fou Fonoti, Dan France, and Skyler Schofner are battling for the tackles spots and Schofner will have one of them.  I know that you have been talking about that kid for two years.  Do you think he could be another great MSU lineman like the ones of the past?  We need a Wisconsin type offensive line, is he one of those type?  Dennis

Dennis, I have a two-part answer for you.  There are other players than just those three.  Those three are ahead, but with all the talent you never know when someone else moves up.  That is the amazing thing right now, the amount of talent on hand at all positions.  Secondly, there are talented and there are great lineman and then there are special ones.  Schofner is special.  If he doesn’t take the LT spot this fall he will before his career is over. 





Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the Saturday column.  If you aren’t aware, on Saturday mornings I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan football.  If you have a MSU football question you would like answered send me an email at