Since spring practice wrapped up, Dantonio has been recruiting, holding clinics, and welcoming incoming freshmen—all while faced with relocating office space due to renovations.
With players home until June 1, when formal training resumes, Coach Dantonio and staff have found time to hit the road the past 2 weeks. They have been visiting recruits and their families, and hope to find not only talented football players, but wise young men as well.
Dantonio often emphasizes that even small decisions can have big consequences—in football and in life. He stresses the importance of intelligent decision making. "We have to make sure that we understand that we all have choices we have to make," he said.
When the staff is back from the road, as they are this week, their time is spent helping players and planning the next round of recruiting. In the next few weeks, Dantonio will be traveling the recruiting circuit one last time before the team reconvenes for conditioning in June.
After that, the focus will be on preparing the team for the regular season. When practice begins with over 100 players reporting in August, Coach Dantonio wants to make sure his team will be ready for the magnitude of Spartan stadium. "I want everybody to experience being in that stadium on game day," he said.
While he prepares for his first season as head coach for the Green and White, Dantonio will have to navigate the detours of reconstruction. The staff is currently moving out of their usual office space as the university prepares to renovate the Duffy Dougherty Football Building, which should take a year to complete.
In the meantime, Dantonio and staff will have to make due with trailers parked on the 5 yard line of the indoor practice facility. Although he admits the project will complicate matters a bit, Dantonio understands the importance of the payoff.
"That's the price of progress. When we have the new facility it will really be nice," he said. "I think it's going to be very, very impressive for Michigan State football."
However, in his quest to restore the glory, Dantonio will make no excuses. The team will carry on despite losing 20 yards in the practice facility—even when the weather begins to sour.
"I have a 40 degree rule," Coach Dantonio said. "If it's less than 40 than we may come inside, other than that we're out."
But before they kick their preparation into a higher gear, Dantonio will make sure his staff takes some time for family. Dantonio plans on traveling north with his wife and 2 girls to recharge his batteries before the summer is finished.
When Coach Dantonio returns to the field, his focus will be on building a top notch program that can live up to the expectations of Spartan fans. To do that, he stresses the importance of working together.
"From my perspective, we just have to stay united," he said. "There are so many true Spartans out there. This is a great place. Everybody needs to go one way."
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