Master of Ceremonies Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharpe kept the night moving at a quick clip, but it was clear from their reaction that the players wanted to hear what Coach Dantonio was going to say.
Dantonio spoke to a virtual who's who of the state's best players, including newly interested Joseph Barksdale of Detroit Cass Tech and seemingly becoming more interested by the day, Ronald Johnson of Muskegon.
While Dantonio didn't deliver a Jim Tressel-type shot across the bow at the University of Michigan who had a few of their coaches at the banquet - but not head coach Lloyd Carr - he did point in their general direction and state, "I can promise you this, we are going to be a player in this state, we will measure up."
The quote drew a few 'oohs' from the crowd and smiles from the Michigan coaches.
MSU's new head man has a chance to really make hay against his arch-rivals from Ann Arbor if he can sway Barksdale, a four-star defensive tackle prospect and Johnson, one of the nation's most coveted defensive backs, to join him in East Lansing.
GSN will have exclusive interviews with both Barksdale and Johnson in the coming days.
Thanks to Paul Billings of WUVS-FM in Muskegon for his contribution and assistance with this article