Mark Dantonio yesterday used words like “Outstanding” and “Great” to describe spring football. Those who know Dantonio are very aware that he isn’t one to waste words or to speak them flippantly. For him to be so excited truly paints a picture that he is pleased and that is not an easy task.
Dantonio thinks his team as a “Luxury” at QB with Andrew Maxwell’s progression and the return of Cousins. That luxury allows #2 QB Keith Nichol to get as many as 90% of the starting X reps because Maxwell is so far along.
Mark Dantonio was quick to praise Greg Jones, but he also sent a message that he doesn’t think the team’s fortunes rise and shine on one player. “Greg Jones is a catalyst, but we have other players.”
For those of you who remember, last year there was shock, and in fact, some outrage by members of the media when they heard that William Gholston was coming to MSU. When he made a quote about standing up and playing LB, many read that as he was second-guessing his choice to come to MSU, which ran a four three. Anyways, Spartan Nation was the first to report that MSU was transitioning more to a 3-4. Something that recently Dantonio confirmed and has been reported. Coach D addressed his team’s transition when he said, “We have always had a 3-4 in the nickel defense, but yet we have moved more to that. We do those types of things to get our best players on the field. We have some young players that will help them get on the field quicker.”
One of the things that we believe sets Dantonio apart is that, like his mentor Jim Tressel, he isn’t married to a scheme. He wants to win and will change and alter his schemes to the talent on hand. Dantonio said as much, “For us it is about putting as many players on the field with speed that we can.”
In case you are wondering, both kicker Dan Conroy and Kevin Muma have had a good battle. Watching kickers may not be the most exciting thing in practice and in scrimmages, but how many MSU games did Brett Swenson factor in? When you are at the Green and White game make sure you watch those two closely.
I have no doubt that Aaron Bates will be the best punter in the Big Ten this season. Ironically, the second best, if Conroy and Muma can step up and win the kickers job, may be incoming freshman Mike Sadler.
I had a great conversation yesterday with Blair White. He may miss part of the draft, but he is trying to get to the spring game. In the April Spartan Nation Magazine we will have a great conversation about the draft and his new team.
Blake Treadwell is having a dominating spring. He is such a great player and this fall he and returning freshman All-American Jerel Worthy could be dominant. Here is something that will make Spartan fans happy for years to come. We have three more seasons of those two great kids and excellent football players on our D line.
Immediate impact. I am going to have an article soon, but new RB Coach Brad Salem has had an immediate impact on the RBs for MSU. His attention to detail is amazing and rather than just playing RB, he has them knowing and understanding each and every assignment on the OL. Look for more on his impact Thursday morning.