Spartan Nation first reported four years ago that other Big Ten team teams were going after Michigan State and head coach Mark Dantonio on the recruiting trail for not getting an offensive lineman drafted since he arrived in East Lansing as the head coach. It has been costly, but certainly not deadly for the Spartans.
Despite the negativity, the Spartans have still been able to win and win at a high level. As late as last season it was still a common practice by Dantonio’s opponents. So Mark Dantonio addressed being able to check that negative off the list of accomplishments yet to be done by his regime.
After watching Donavon Clark getting picked by San Diego and Jack Conklin by the Tennessee Titans, Dantonio had a lot to say.
“Yeah, I think you’re right. It’s another check mark. Certainly we’ve had great tailbacks, quarterbacks, wideouts, corners, safeties, linebackers, defensive linemen, and now we’ve got the opportunity to check off our offensive line with two guys being drafted, a third going as a free agent.” He went on to add, “You know, I think it sends a message that you come here, you’re going to have opportunities at every position, just like anywhere else in America. Great things can happen if you play and you’ve got a big stage to play on here and you’ve got a highly successful program that demonstrates the coaching of Mark Staten and everything else we’ve done in terms of protecting our quarterback and running the football, as well.”
The fact that MSU had two players picked this year is already paying dividends as recruits who heard that from other coaches noticed the Spartans success. With the selection of Conklin and Clark the Spartans have now had every position player picked in the NFL draft under Dantonio.