Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…
I just listened to the story that you did with Allen (Trieu) on how the class is shaping up. You referred again to a reset of recruiting philosophy this year. Without naming names, are there still guys in the locker room from the past couple of years that maybe wouldn't have been hotly pursued under the character/fit first philosophy, or are they now mostly gone? Mindy
Yes, there are some still here, but we shall see if they get it together or move on. Like I said before, we could see people leave up until the first game week, like Enoch Smith, Jr. did last year.
I have noticed a couple of PWO (Preferred Walk On) commitments that you are pretty excited about. If they have scholarships "left over" would there be any chance one of these PWOs would be able to be put on scholarship rather than bank them for 2018? Rick Emerson
No. PWO’s have to earn it and there are others on the roster who have earned them that have to get rewarded first. Now, depending on the number of guys that leave, there could be one as long as others are taken care of first.
Hondo: I sense a strong ending to 2017 recruiting! A buddy who studies this more than me thinks Oliver Martin is now a true Sparty potential. Thoughts on that possibility? Thanks, Mark Trimper
I have been reporting (as has Allen) that Oliver to MSU is a legit possibility. That said, it is far from a done deal, but 100% in play.
Hondo, as the 2017 recruiting season is coming to an end I have a question about the finish. Is the way MSU ended this the resetting of recruiting mindset you referred to or lack of fan perceived plan A recruits available? Also I think that the total coaching staff are really men of character and recruits probably see that. However, it seems that since Narduzzi left we have not had the real closer. Seems like (and of course I really do not know) that some recruits need a little extra nudge even when they feel good about MSU. Many of our major competitors seem to have that. Will the coaching staff revisit their recruiting strategy? Ray K
A lot of questions there. This class is not ending in any weird way. They had most of the class at the start of the season, got one during, and the rest have come after. There are some “Plan A” guys that they didn’t get because MSU backed -off of them with the reset. There are some that they may get who are plan A’s now with the new reset that some are down on. Mark Dantonio is not a strong armed closer. He likes to stay the course of his process. That is why you didn’t see any de-commits from the class even with a horrible year. I would add that Pat has a much stronger approach to recruiting and when at MSU had a relationship with Dantonio that the others on this staff don’t. That doesn’t mean bad, but Pat did it his way and most here now follow the coach’s lead. Does having a strong closer help? Without a doubt, but remember that the staff has a boss and they must follow his lead and desire.
Hondo, is it fair to say that Michigan State does not have a staff of strong recruiters? Is that normal on a staff that they don’t have all of them as strong recruiters? Collin Brown
It is fair to say that the entire staff are not strong recruiters. I am not sure if I would call it normal. Nick Saban will tell you that you can’t be on his staff and not be a driven and very good recruiter. In fact, there have been times on his staff that he has had coaches that were great recruiters and good, but not great coaches. He and Urban Meyer both share the philosophy to recruiters first. A good, but not great coach, can do more with elite talent in their opinion, than an elite coach with good players. Now, I do think that Dantonio has some elite recruiters, but I would not say the entire staff.
Hondo do you think Thiyo Lukusa is a starter for us next year at tackle? Thanks Jack in Pewamo, MI
Hondo, I appreciate you asking Mark Dantonio about who has left. Why would you think he didn’t answer with names? Is he that arrogant? K. Babich
I wouldn’t call it arrogant. I think he made a mistake. He is going to have to address this and the next availability is signing day. So on a day that should be about the new class and looking ahead, once again we go back to the residuals of a bad year. I think part of the reason is that they are hoping (at least one) will stay and maybe that some others won’t. It is fluid. I am his friend, but one thing I can tell you is that he isn’t arrogant. I think he made a mistake, but I wasn’t mad that he didn’t say anything. He doesn’t owe the media or fans anything, it is his program to run as he sees fit.
Hondo, you nail it every year when you pick captains. I know that you don’t do it until summer, but I can’t pick players that I would consider almost a certainty to get it. Can you? I give you the right to change your mind this summer. Thanks. Al Kettles
Thanks for the right. You are correct, I always talk captains in the summer. I think one name with a good chance is Chris Frey, Jr., but that is not a prediction yet. That comes this summer.
Hondo, assuming all are healthy, what are the odds that Messiah DeWeaver or Rocky Lombardi are the starting QB next year? I keep hearing that Messiah is a beast and Rocky is the real deal. Thanks. M. Warren
0% that either of them start the season as the starting QB if all are healthy.
There you go everyone. That is your weekly MSU football questions and answers article. Make sure you send your questions to SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line Football Q/A. If you are a premium member to Spartan Nation please make sure you point that out, as those questions get answered first. Thank you.