Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio took part in Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches teleconference. He provided some updates on his football team, but mostly looked ahead to Saturday’s game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. As someone from Ohio, Dantonio has a great understanding for Ohio State football and what this rivalry has meant between him and Urban Meyer. Here are the highlights.
+ Asked about RB Connor Heyward, Dantonio said he is coming into his own as a tailback. He didn’t really play much there in high school, so he continues to get better at it. He comes from a great family. He is a fast learner. He’s a great person and a great leader. He played quarterback in high school. He just has that persona about him and people gravitate toward him like they do his brother Cameron.
+ Dantonio has always told recruits not to commit if they are planning on taking other visits. If they are committed and they take visits, then they must not be that committed. When commits from other schools want to visit MSU, then he would prefer those players tell the schools that they are no longer and committed. He doesn’t like to offer official visits to players who are committed to other schools.
+ Asked who the best QB in the conference is that he has seen, he mentioned Clayton Thorson and Peyton Ramsey, and also Shea Patterson. Dwayne Haskins is a great player and they’ll see him this week. Almost every team has a great guy this year. Patterson does what he is asked to do. He dropped one right on the money against MSU to go up 14-7.
+ The number of injuries on offense isn’t the only reason the offense has struggled this season. They use the next man up mantra. He chalks the struggles up to inconsistency, which is born from plenty of other factors, including injuries and execution.
+ The magnitude of the OSU-MSU game has created the rivalry that they have built over the last seven or so years. There is so much meaning to the game that it makes it even bigger. Then you have so many players and coaches from Ohio, so they all understand what Ohio State means.