With the Class of 2007 signed, sealed and waiting to be delivered on campus this summer things are full steam ahead to finish out the fourth-quarter and get spring practice in full gear.
GoSpartans.net caught up with Coach Dantonio on Monday night for a little one-on-one conversation about the Spartans program and the transition that continues to be a daily affair in placing the Spartans back into the running for a Big Ten and National Championship.
Coach how has the transition gone since taking over the program ninety days ago?
"Dave as you know it was very important to keep our staff intact and we
did that. Things were very hectic
from day one because it was very important for us to get our people on the road
recruiting while also getting them visible to the people of
"When we took over we got on some of the names the previous staff recruited while also getting to work of those we knew about along with some new names. In early December we had lots of names on the board and as it became January some of those names changed while we added some new ones and removed others."
"I'm very excited about the class we signed but wish we could have added
another defensive back. We felt we
had one committed who ended up signing elsewhere and if we would have known he
was going to do that we would have recruited another player at that
position. We also signed a great
quarterback late in Nick Foles out of
"We also got a great player in Antonio Jeremiah who is a difference maker. He's got all the tools to excel at the college level and we expect a lot from him. We also signed a very good linebacker in Greg Jones to go with several players who can line up on either side of the ball."
One of the things you did at
"I don't feel we'll be looking to do that this year. We'll have 21-24 scholarships and as a
staff we feel confident in the players we signed. We had a great Junior Day on February 3
with 30 of the top juniors from the state of
How hard was it for members of your staff to get things
together with work being in
"I'm not going to say it's been easy. We work hard from early in the morning to late into the night and then try to get out of here early on Friday to spend some time with our families. Some on our staff have already sold their homes and have or will be making the move here very soon while others are still in the process of getting all the loose ends finished up. Sometimes our families come up here for a weekend while others we return home."
With spring practice just around the corner where are you with the players who'll return for next season?
"We held a winter workout early to allow the players a chance to get to
know us and we know them. We since
have been doing our winter workouts, as you know we call this our fourth quarter
before heading into spring practice.
We've sat down with our seniors and are doing the same thing with our
juniors right now. We're breaking
down the offense, defense and special teams to see what we have. We've also been looking at some film
from last season while also looking back at the things we'd done at
"Not only did we bring almost our entire staff from
Since the 2001 season the team has gone 33-39 overall. Have you looked back on these seasons to get a feel for where the program has gone since the 10-2 record of 1999?
"To be honest we don't really look back because it's all behind us
now. We know we've got a job to do