The 2016 NFL Draft may have been an overall success for the Michigan State Spartans. But that didn’t stop the media Sunday from asking Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio about former quarterback Connor Cook and his fall to the fourth round of the draft.
What was Dantonio’s reaction as the draft unfolded about his former quarterback?
“I was disappointed,” said Dantonio. “I was probably living through the entire thing, as well, watched the entire draft. I was disappointed. I think that Connor is an excellent football player. He’s done a tremendous job for us here and for his football team, and a lot of that success that we’ve had can be credited to his play and his leadership on our football team. I think that speaks volumes.”
While Cook tried to put the criticism to the side leading up to the draft. Dantonio feels it did start to catch up with him.
“I think it did wear on him as time went on,” he said. “But he tried to continue to stay above it. You know, I think that’s a question probably better suited for Connor. But what I always tell people is when you hit adversity, it provides an opportunity for growth.
“You’re going to be tested. There’s no question you’re going to be tested as a quarterback at Michigan State on the field and off the field, just like the head coach, and I’ve always told our quarterbacks you’re going to get a tremendous amount of praise and a tremendous amount of criticism because of the position that you play. It’s going to be highly scrutinized.
“You know, we look forward to it as an opportunity to grow and become better for it. But I think that it was inaccurate, and it was disappointing what he had to go through."