SpartanDigest Mailbag: December 27

Answering your questions about Michigan State football, basketball and recruiting!

With Pat Narduzzi as the new head coach at Pitt, how do you see the Spartans moving on without their longstanding DC? Do you think his position will be filled quickly from within? Will his departure hurt the team recruiting-wise, etc?

I will have more on this in a pair of stories later in the day, but definitely think Michigan State hires in-house for the new defensive coordinator. It is pretty standard for Mark Dantonio to do so. As for the rest of the impact, it will be important to have someone to recruit New Jersey soon as it is a talent rich state and Narduzzi fit well recruiting there.

Assuming Narduzzi brings a coach or two with him to Pitt, do you think Dantonio looks outside the program for new assistants?

While it seems like coordinator hires come from in-staff – spare Jim Bollman – I think it is the Dantonio pattern to look outside to hire position coaches. It is mostly speculative at this point, given that more staff shuffling could occur as you said with Narduzzi going to Pitt, but Dantonio has made very good hires lately in Ron Burton, Brad Salem and Terry Samuel as new position coaches.

What is the best/worst case scenario of assistants leaving for promotions, whether it be Pitt or elsewhere? Tressel, Samuel, Barnett, etc?

Naturally, the best case scenario for Michigan State is to not lose anyone else from the staff. Is that realistic? Probably not. I think the best case is losing one or two to Pitt, which is realistic and understandable. Guys like Brad Salem are going to get coordinator looks at some point anyway, so this is a good opportunity to get that job.

Any idea that we might lose an offensive assistant to Pitt?

The talk there will center on Salem, I believe. He was talked about down at Vandy as a possible candidate and now could be talked about in the same capacity at Pitt.

Is Narduzzi coaching the defense in the Cotton Bowl? If so, do you see him working directly with Barnett or Tressel to give some mentoring? If not, who do you see calling the plays?

Narduzzi will be coaching the defense in the Cotton Bowl. Given that Harlon Barnett works up in the box with him on gamedays, it is safe to assume that some mentoring has been going on for quite some time between the pair.

Any news on players injured for Cotton Bowl?

Not yet, but with interviews and media availability starting today down in Dallas, some stuff could start coming out soon enough if there are any injuries.

Is Brandon Dawson expected to be back for Maryland?

He is. Should have a cast on his wrist, but he should be back in action barring any setbacks.

How good does Eron Harris look on the hoops scout team? Would he be getting major minutes on this year's team if he was eligible?

He is a very slippery, tough player to guard. He is a guy that can really score the ball from anywhere on the court and would be a very valuable addition to the team right now. He should be a factor next year in a big way as that team loads up.

Spartan Nation Top Stories