Mike Carter USA TODAY SPORTS

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio knows the first day of camp is just a starting point.

Michigan State opened defense of their Big Ten Championship on Saturday with the first official practice of the 2016 season. Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio knows it’s a starting point but feels the programs culture is so much strong heading into his tenth season.

The start of another college football season for the Michigan State Spartans means a starting point for head coach Mark Dantonio.  Or so he thinks…

“Another first day, I guess this is the 10th one. So, I think they’ve all been the same,” said Dantonio to open with to the media.  “We’re out here in shorts, so it’s a starting point. The game is not played in shorts, but you see people have retention, you see athletic ability, you see guys catch the ball; things of that nature. We have got a lot of football players. Our freshmen class looks good. Those skill guys look good. But, it is too early to tell. But, good things from today and we will go from there.”

With his program on solid footing.  Dantonio continues to do the same things he did when he took over the program when it comes to the opening of camp.  But are things different with expectations higher than in past years?

“It never really starts over for you,” he said. “I mean; it always starts over I guess I would say. We are always going to put a name tag on and start fresh. There is more retention. That’s natural. People know where they are going a little bit more, except for the freshmen and younger players. I think the culture is stronger. Not that it has changed. We had good senior leadership back then, but I think overall, I think the entire football team is stronger and I think we see that as we play through the season usually. I think that is the result of people always going in one direction.”

One player Spartan fans are waiting to hear about is linebacker Ed Davis.  What is the latest news on Davis?

“We will know on August 18 (end of the second summer semester).  He’s a student coach.  So, he can coach.  He’s a great coach.  Fast coach.  Athletic coach,” joked Dantonio.

Another staple of the Spartans program under Dantonio is the programs conditioning test.  How did players fair this season?

“Everybody made their conditioning test,” he said.  “A couple of people had to repeat the next morning, but they did it and got it done.  We move to the next phase.  We don’t have anybody running or anything like that to make up, so everybody is ready to go.”

Another questions fans and the media are wanting more information on is the status at quarterback with the departure of Connor Cook.  What does Dantonio want to see from his signal callers?

QUOTES PROVIDED BY: MSU ATHLETICS

“You just want to see retention right now and you want to see consistency and performance,” he said. “They all have big arms. They are all athletic and big guys and they are talented. You could go out there and watch any of the other three and say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good.’ But, I think as things go through fall camp, some people start to pull away from others or you start to find out more about people when it becomes a little bit more live action. But, a good starting point for all four of those guys.”


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