The War Room:  Go Inside #15 Michigan State Football

I get a lot of nuggets and information that alone are not big enough for a story.  When I have a few that I can assemble together I will, and when I only have one or two I will post them as premium content on our Phalanx Forum board.  So welcome to The War Room.

  • As of 4:12 today Archie Collins had NOT been hired for the MSU Football staff. But I am hearing that possibility is very close to happening.  Not a done deal, but close.
  • Collins had another interview recently in which he WOWED again. I shared prior how he had a great conversation that really impressed Dantonio.  This time he met with the Coach and the staff and I am told, “Was amazing.”
  • Former Nebraska Assistant Scott Booker was in town today. He interviewed with Coach D as well.  He is a former Kent State DB and has an extensive coaching background.  Here is that background courtesy of the Cornhuskers SID department:
  • Booker Coaching Career
    2003-04—Kent State, Graduate Assistant
    2005-08—Kent State, Assistant Coach/Defensive Backs
    2009—Western Kentucky, Assistant Coach/Secondary
    2010-11—Notre Dame, Offensive Intern
    2012-16—Notre Dame, Assistant Coach/Tight Ends and Special Teams Coordinator
    2017—Nebraska, Assistant Coach/Safeties, and Special Teams
  • Tim Daoust is the DC at Western Michigan. According to WMU, he has coached also at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Illinois State, and Northern Illinois.  He was a GA for Dantonio at Cincinnati. He has interviewed with Dantonio about the DE coaching job.
  • Daoust is intriguing because he knows the Dantonio way and is familiar with the Midwest for recruiting purposes.
  • Chuck Bullough is another name. He currently coaches at EMU.  I want to make this clear. I am close to the Bullough family personally and I HAVE PURPOSELY avoided Chuck during this process.  No information I am reporting has IN ANY WAY come from or has been confirmed by him.
  • He had a conversation with Coach Dantonio and according to a member of the athletic department, “Will get an interview.” Bullough would be a homerun hire.  He has the passion and intensity of Pat Narduzzi with great coaching ability and teaching talent and is a blood and guts old-school football guy.
  • Paul Haynes did have what more than one person called, “An amazing interview.” I was told, “I heard he did what Ron Burton did when he interviewed and he just seized the room.” Haynes, as you know, was at MSU before as well and at Ohio State.  He was also a head coach at Kent State.  Haynes is an exceptional person as well.
  • Now to Michigan. I know that Jim Harbaugh has made it clear that he would prefer Coach Dantonio and Spartans not talk about him or his program.  Well, that isn’t going to happen.
  • Spartan Nation learned a few weeks ago that Dan Enos, the former MSU QB, was going to be hired by Harbaugh. According to a Spartan who has been close to Enos, “I can’t imagine why he is doing this.  He is still getting paid by Arkansas and this makes no sense.”
  • Another Spartan who is also a coach told me, “I would be an (excrement) shoveler at the local park for old women walking their dogs before I would work there. I guess he isn’t the Danny I knew.”
  • Now let me explain. Enos, when he returned to MSU to join the John L. Smith staff and then stayed with Dantonio, was one of the biggest Spartan staff members fanning the flames of hatred for the Wolverines. It wasn’t fake and his emotion wasn’t dislike.
  • One former player from the John L. Smith era told me, “When he got here there really wasn’t a whole lot for us to grab with this rivalry. Coach Smith didn’t get it that much. He sort of downplayed it I think because they kicked our ass for all those years.   Coach Smith said that Director Mason (then Athletic Director Ron Mason) made them hire him.  He said a lot of things that if MSU has on tape they should make public during the game week.  If he hated him as much as what he said then why go there.  If he didn’t, then share that (excrement) and get it on.”
  • I have had a lot of people ask if this means Enos could never come back. I will say this. When he left MSU for CMU he had a lot of people connected to Michigan State making calls to Dave Heeke (then CMU AD) on his behalf.  Some things happened after that that really burnt some bridges.  I am not going to get into them because frankly, the offended folks have asked me not to.  What I will say is that he probably was never going to come back and taking the job at Michigan sealed it.
  • According to two people that I have spoken with, Enos has told them some interesting things. I have not reached out to Enos to confirm, but talking with friends who cover Michigan totally believe what I have heard to be accurate.
  • FACT: Enos has a contract that is for four years. It starts with a base of $150,000 and grows each year by $50,000.  Enos has a clause in his contract that calls for him to get a raise to $750,000 should he be promoted to coordinator.
  • According to those that claim to have spoken to him, the reason the COORDINATOR bump is in there is that he believes that Michigan would like to see Pep Hamilton the current OC move on. “He won’t be fired, but they would like Danny to take that job over.”
  • I find it intriguing that Harbaugh would bring on a replacement for someone that hasn’t left and from what I am hearing won’t terminate. But the plot thickens.
  • I know that Harbaugh wants the talk to stop, but hiring Enos won’t help. Add to it that Harbaugh tried to hire Curtis Blackwell before.  Blackwell and Michigan State were doing so well that Harbaugh tried to get Blackwell to Ann Arbor.  That is why the Spartans gave Blackwell such a large raise.
  • Spartan Nation has previously reported that and even without Blackwell, in 2019 the Spartans looked poised to own the state again.
  • Here is another interesting nugget. Harbaugh has also reached out to another Spartan about a job that at the time was available.  That coach wanted nothing to do with it, but there is a clear pattern.
  • For years the Wolverines have spoken of Michigan State as a second-class citizen or in their words “Little Brother” and since they can’t hire Dantonio, they now want to hire Spartans to fix the Wolverine Football program.
  • I guess Harbaugh has taken to heed of the old adage, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
  • I promised to not report that Enos was hired and I honored that (until it was made public), but those interesting nuggets speak of palace intrigue in Fort Schembechler. Can you imagine the strain of trying to coach knowing your boss has your replacement ready to take over?
  • Another Spartan who I know has a relationship with Enos told me, “He wasn’t taking the job just to be an assistant and Harbaugh knew that. It isn’t a matter of if, but when he becomes the coordinator.”
  • Does that make us inclined to think that dissension could begin bubbling in A2 if things don’t start fast for the Wolverines in 2018?
  • With Harbaugh having tried to hire THREE Spartans and landing one, that clearly tells us what we already know. Mark Dantonio lives in Harbaugh’s head rent free. Somehow this rivalry just got turned up even more.
  • ‘18 FL DE Habakkuk “HABA” Baldonado is a late-blooming defensive lineman from Florida. He is from Italy and is coming on an official visit this coming weekend.  He told me recently how incredibly amazed he was that Michigan State is bringing his mother from Italy to spend the weekend in East Lansing with him.
  • Haba told me, “Some places talk about being family, but Michigan State proved it by bringing my mother there for my visit. I am so thankful.”  You don’t drop the kind of money that comes from an international flight if you aren’t trying to impress.  Keep a close eye on him.
  • I am NOT speaking for Hunter Rison, but I have had more than one of his former MSU teammates tell me that he told them (as recently as the Holiday Bowl) that he wanted to go to UCLA.
  • Another teammate brought up that he could also join Messiah deWeaver at East Mississippi Community College.  Where he goes is his choice and we wish him well.
  • One Michigan State Athletic Department employee told me, “I would anticipate that there is a very good chance Messiah could be joined by at least one if not more than one Spartan teammate.” Stay tuned.

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