Duffy Daugherty Football Building
East Lansing, MI
As I sat outside Mark Dantonio’s office to discuss with him the state of Michigan State football last week a lot of things went through my mind. This will be the third year in a row that the Spartans will have quality young men who will one day play in the NFL that won’t see the field. Ponder that for a minute.
The Spartans have quality player depth at every position. For those that don’t understand the magnitude of that statement, there are a lot of teams that have players. Few have the depth of quality players. Michigan State does.
Over the last four (including 2017) recruiting classes the biggest hurdle the Spartans have had to climb when recruiting a player is that fact that other coaches tell players, “You can play here right away, look at the roster, how do you get in the field the first two years there?” By the way James Franklin, coaches who tell the truth are NOT negatively recruiting.
So as pundits and fans alike appropriately point out what Michigan State lost last year player wise, few are talking about what they have. No doubt a glass half empty situation to most, is in my opinion a glass half full in East Lansing.
So the first question that I asked Dantonio on the record was simple. Going through your preseason depth chart, not even counting freshman who didn’t arrive early for spring or transfers, you are almost three deep with quality players and people at every position. Have you built Michigan State to the point now where even after heavy losses of talent you don’t rebuild, it is just reloading?
As always with me, I found Dantonio honest, reflective and frank. He told me, “I hope so. I hope that is the case. I think when you get good that is what you end up doing. I do think that there are certain positions on our team that we have experience. We have seven players that have started in the secondary; we have quite a few linebackers that have played a lot. We lost some good players on the defensive front, but I think we have numbers. We some young guys like Raequan Williams and guys like that. Our wide receiver situation is young, but talented. Our running back situation (MSU has four legitimate runners). When you look across the board at our quarterback situation, (we have) four quality quarterbacks. Tyler (O’Connor) has the lead in that, but there are four quality quarterbacks that everybody has the physical ability to do the job. It is a good situation, but everybody has players so we have to rally up a little bit.”
As Mark Dantonio enters his tenth season, one decade as the head of Spartan football, embracing the talent he has accumulated. The Spartans certainly have questions, but at no spot on this roster is there a deficiency of talent and that spells good things for the Spartans.