EXCLUSIVE: Mark Dantonio Talks With Spartan Nation
Q: Coach D, thanks again for coming down here. Is it time to re-visit the game clock rules regarding when the ball goes out of bounds? Right now we’re running with the NFL system where it starts again if it’s reset out of bounds, except at the final 2 minutes of the half. Is it time to go back to the way it used to be in college football where it didn’t start until the snap every play?
A: You know, I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think it’s gonna remain the same. I think that people have adapted. The game is laid out for TV in some ways sometimes, and I think that’s gonna have a large bearing on that rule.
Q: Research is being done regarding head injuries and concussions, and they’re somewhat coming to the conclusion that it may be cumulative effect of hits, not necessarily the severity of an individual hit. Has that research and others impacted how often you guys are going live during the practice week during the season?
A: During the season, we’re gonna probably stay standard. We don’t go live much at all. We don’t go live at all during the season. Camp, though, you have to go live some I think just to give them that experience. I think it’s something that you have to get used to. If you go out on the football field and you just play, you just start from scratch, and you hit, I think that you’re at more risk. I don’t know if everything would say that, but I feel like that’s the case. We’ve got a lot of very thorough studies going on at Michigan State as well in regard to that.
Q: Any different than way back when you were an assistant at Kansas or Ohio State during the week? Or is it pretty much the same?
A: It’s pretty much been the same. I don’t know how many people go live during the season. I think there’s too much risk of injury. People just stay the course.
Q: Your experience at West Point, does that give you a different perspective and understanding how kids may struggle with choosing to commit or changing their mind about where they wanna go play college football?
A: That was a long time ago, in a different time. I think that when you look at recruiting right now, you have to… When a young man commits, it’s gotta be a two-way street. I think there needs to be something to hold him to that commitment at some point. But there’s many different way to recruit. We choose to recruit our way and usually our commitments, I would say 99% of our commitments, have stuck in our seven years of recruiting. We’ve had two guys de-commit. So we can live with those numbers.
Q: You were at Michigan State when Plaxico Burress was there. He went on to a pro career and made the most modern-day guarantee. He’s guaranteeing a win against the Patriots, would have been the best team in NFL history, catching the game winning touchdown. Then he falls down off the field, now he’s come back. How do you deal with things like that? Do you let them learn those things on their own?
A: I think you address those things and you point towards the rise and the fall of certain things. Because I think they’re all lessons learned for all of us. You’re one mistake away from being in the clubhouse. And you’re also one play away from being on top again. But I think the main thing you wanna focus on is not the fall but the rise. Understand that you can always come back.
Q: Throughout the season this year are you planning on getting some more game time for quarterbacks #2, #3, #4 even on the depth chart than in the past?
A: Well we have to go through camp to see how they play in camp. But I think with the senior right now in Maxwell… Sort of at the beginning I think it’s gonna be a natural progression to play some of the younger guys, especially early, to give them that game experience as we move through the season.