Several experts talk about Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans football program.

Several experts talk about Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and the Spartans football program overall.

Scott Reed - Spartan Digest
ESPN analyst and 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian: “It isn’t identified talent when is talking about when they’re 16 and 17 years old, it’s guys by and large that they found and then developed. That’s a hallmark of a great program. If you’re a great program…, if you take that next level, you develop them into NFL starters, which is what (Mark Dantonio’s) done. It’s obviously what the Spartans are now.


“There’s no question about it (staying power of Michigan State). You have to go back to the Duffy Daugherty years to think about the sustained excellence that they’ve had with Mark here. This is now one of the top jobs in the country, largely because of the efforts of Mark and his staff.”


ESPN analyst Todd McShay: “If you were to ask me to make a list of the five best college football coaches, he’d be on it. You can’t give much higher praise than that. Again, they bring in solid recruits and they make them into much better players than they were when they first came in. That’s what coaching is about. They’re very limited in terms of off-the-field issues, any distractions; he has guys on the program, doing what they’re supposed to do. And they’re winning too. When the sum is greater than the individual parts, and consistently, year in and year out, that’s the greatest reflection of what’s going on with the coaching staff.”


NFL Network analyst Charles Davis: “(With Michigan State), you (would) see those pockets where things jumped up, and then things weren’t quite as good, things jumped up, weren’t quite as good, and it’s always been a program where people have always thought, from the outside in, why aren’t they more consistent, why aren’t they competing for more titles? Never have that worry again as long as Mark Dantonio is around. He’s going to be there.

“The Big Ten has never been hotter and will compete with anyone in the country, and Mark Dantonio is right in there swinging.


“Great coaching staff, stability on the coaching staff, everything is set by the leader, Dantonio. He coaches the coaches as well as he coaches the players. They know what their formula is, they know the process to get there, they know how the end results come about, they know what it takes, and they back down from no one.”


NFL Network analyst and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci: “There are two parts to that (success). One is recruiting, identifying, evaluating, going out and finding the best kids and signing the best kids you possibly can. They do a good job with that, very thorough.


“But the other part of the equation is player development. That speaks to the coaching they get on an individual basis. Mark Dantonio and his staff do a heck of a job coaching these kids from strength and conditioning to what they’re eating, their nutrition, their behavior, their discipline, all of that. Mark Dantonio is doing a heck of a job with that. He gets them in the program as an 18-year-old kid and they leave as a young man that is ready to take on this world, whether that is in the NFL or somewhere else. I’ve been really impressed with the job that Mark does.”


Sirius XM analyst Jim Miller: “I think it’s imperative that people understand that Mark Dantonio is true to his word. He doesn’t recruit stars, he recruits the kid, and he recruits the person. He knows that they’re going to be developed and have a good foundation. What do I mean by that? I mean kids with high character. When you look at Mark, he’s always maximized the talent at Michigan State, but these kids all buy in and they develop themselves with a great coaching staff. And that’s the word on the street from NFL coaches, that they know when they get a kid out of Michigan State, he’s going to be well coached because that’s what Mark Dantonio’s staff has done over the years. So they know it’s a consistent program now and it’s going to continue to get better because now that more talented kids want to go to Michigan State because the word on the street is that they’re having a lot of success.”


Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples: “Look at where Jack Conklin was recruited, look at where he was rated as a recruit, and look at where he's potentially going to be drafted. That tells you what kind of development they're doing in East Lansing.


“This is one of the staffs that really, they're the best in the country maybe at finding guys who are under appreciated. Going back to Pat Narduzzi when he was on the staff locating Connor Cook, identifying Connor Cook, realizing this is a guy – he may not even have a MAC offer right now – but I think he could be a good quarterback at Michigan State. And then bringing it to Mark Dantonio, and them agreeing and seeing something in these guys that maybe these other coaches don't see. That's something they've done very well, and it's interesting as they get better and win more games, now they can still get those guys but they can also get the guys that everyone else is recruiting too. So it's going to be an interesting dynamic with Michigan State going forward because they might be working with better raw materials than they had in the past. We already know how well they can develop.


“Two out of the last three Big Ten titles, I think that's pretty hard to argue with. It's going to get more challenging. I think the Big Ten East is turning into what the SEC West has been, where it's going to be a really deep division…It's going to be a challenge, but the thing is these guys have managed to do this and we're talking now since 2010. This has been a very good program since 2010. With the one unlucky year in 2012, really there hasn't been much drop off. So I wouldn't expect anything different from them in being in the mix for the Big Ten East title, which obviously puts them in the hunt for the Big Ten title and national title consideration every year. I don't see why anything  would change.”

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