When you are Mark Dantonio, your record itself speaks volumes. Anyone can look at past records and see the success. What most people don’t see is how Dantonio has made millions of dollars with his ability to get those amazing records because he knows how to develop talent.
There are a lot of coaches who can coach. The truly elite coaches know how to develop talent. Dantonio is one of them.
So as Mark Dantonio looks to retool and offensive line that lost three key cogs in All American’s Jack Allen and Jack Conklin and another key starter with NFL dreams Donavon Clark what is he seeing from some of his young offensive line stars? I asked him.
“All of a sudden you put pads on and you have noise out there and people moving around. Things become more difficult. Cole Chewins moves well and Tyler Higby moves well and (Noah) Listermann looks like he has improved as a football player. We moved Kyonta Stallworth over to defense so those are the four guys that came in for us as offensive lineman last year and I think they are going to be good football players for us. You are sort of starting from scratch (in the spring) because they are young players.”
How about his early enrollees? Any thoughts on those young men early in the process coach?
“Good, very good. Donnie Corley and Cam Chambers you notice those two guys early in practices. Kenny Lyke has done a nice job as well. Joe Bachie has made some plays as well. Offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa, again it is a whole new system, that is a lot of strange and you are going to struggle in there a little bit initially. He takes time to find your footing in there a little bit, but I thought good things. Messiah deWeaver is a guy that looks like a guy that has a great future ahead of him. Throw him out there his first day in pads and people come at him from all angles. He handled things.”
Speaking of deWeaver, one of the biggest questions this spring is at QB. Has Dantonio let the QB’s go live yet taking real hits? Dantonio was in a playful mood and said, “Almost out of frustration. (Laugh) they did a nice job today.”