Spartan Nation broke the story that Ron Burton had been hired by MSU as the new DL coach. After he got the job, Spartan Nation was the first to interview him. He sure has been busy since he pledged his services to the Spartan Nation.
To say he was excited would be an understatement. With such a great relationship to Air Force, the move had to be a tough one for Burton. He disagreed. “I loved being at Air Force. It was a great time for us, but when you looked at the foundation that Coach Dantonio has set at Michigan State, it was an easy choice.”
He went on to add about his new boss, “I think that Coach Dantonio is not only a great coach, but a great person. I really enjoyed the process and look forward to getting to know him even better. I think it is important to have people you work for that you have a lot of respect professionally and personally for them. I do for Coach Dantonio.”
The biggest question that surrounds Burton is recruiting. He has done it before, in the Big Ten, and Burton has it in perspective. “Recruiting at Air Force isn’t an easy thing. I enjoyed it, but you are very limited in what you can go after, they have to fit the academy first. I can’t wait to get on the trail and start recruiting. I enjoy that part of the job and it will be a lot of fun doing that for a great place like Michigan State.”
He has already jumped in. Burton has spent some considerable time with some of the best DL candidates in the country in his short time at MSU. He has a stable of players already on campus, and several coming in with the 2013 class.
Burton’s immediate boss is DC Pat Narduzzi. Arguably the best DC in the nation, Burton and Narduzzi share a very high motor and intensity. I asked Burton about his much spoken about high energy approach. “I care about the kids, I care about football, and I am passionate about that. I wouldn’t want to do something that I wasn’t passionate about. I love the game and what it offers, from an education standpoint with school, playing this great game, and the opportunity at getting better. I get to share those things with a lot of fine young men.”
I think the addition of a high energy coach and one with the pedigree and teaching talent of Burton is a big plus for Michigan State. I think Burton’s influence will be seen immediately. He is a tactician. He teaches the way Dantonio did DBs added with the passion of a Pat Narduzzi. His impact will be felt immediately with spring ball and his input on practice planning will be a great relief for Narduzzi.
He has already been active in recruiting for Michigan State and that should be a big plus. He relates to people easily and is very personable. I expect him to be a big impact recruiter like Harlon “DA BANG STICK” Barnett. His personality and work ethic will pay off big time for Dantonio.
For people that wanted a “Big name” there will be some disappointed folks. For those that wanted a proven coach who has had success in places that aren’t easy to succeed at, he fits the bill.
Early last week Burton went to Florida to see 2013 DT signee Devyn Salmon. Salmon told Spartan Nation about the visit. “I was fascinated to meet the new coach. We had good chemistry.”
Burton is known as a teacher of the game and he wasted no time getting on task. Salmon said, “He gave me a piece of paper with his expectations for me and shared with me about playing time and shared a lot. He just shared his heart with me. It was amazing.”
What touched Salmon about Burton is something we hear about the MSU coaches regularly. Salmon said, “He was a great guy. It was a breathtaking visit. He came into my home, he didn’t know any of us and the way he visited with my family, it was like he was at home.”
Salmon added, “It meant a lot to me that he wasn’t rushed. He was fine being there and said that if he was going to coach me and teach me and be there for me that me and my family needed to get to know him. He didn’t rush, it was just great.”
Salmon had great respect for the previous DL Coach Ted Gill and still does, but after a great visit by Burton he is as fired up as ever. Was he shocked at how he bonded with Burton? “I really, really was. When he left my house, my family and I felt like I had a father figure and a mentor. It was great.”
Burton will be making a visit to Chicago in the next two weeks to see Demetrius Cooper.