DANTONIO GIVES HIS RECRUITING CLASS AN 'A'

     Mark Dantonio gave his third MSU football recruiting class an 'A' on Wednesday, signing day across America.  Dantonio has not always graded his classes as high, but he was clearly into the spirit of the day during his news conference to analyze his incoming players.  There were no surprises-- MSU signed 23 high school seniors-- all but two of them from the four state midwest area and the other two, late arrivals from Florida.  Twelve of them are from Michigan and seven from Ohio where Dantonio has deep roots.

     I have long felt MSU needs more speed on the field, but then all of the other Big Ten teams need more as well too.  Ohio State and Penn State just happen to have more and that's a key reason both sit atop the league standings almost every year.  Running backs are needed as candidates to replace Javon Ringer-- Battle Creek's Larry Caper and Oak Park's Edwin Baker are prime candidates to contribute right away.

     Use the recruiting services and their rankings however you wish.  But most have MSU in the Big Ten's first division and one service has MSU as high as 14th nationally-- another has MSU as low as 34th-- take your pick.  But MSU seems to be improving is overall lot of players and apparently gone are the days when junior college recruits, for quick fixes, helped populate the newcomers' roster.

     Now it's on to spring practice and a new starting quarterback is needed.  Andrew Maxwell arrives from Midland, but more than likely he'll end up being redshirted even though he is considered a solid prospect.  I have MSU going about 8-4 next fall and the schedule seems to be manageable.  I'll guess that Oklahoma transfer Keith Nichol will lead the offense and I'm betting he'll be good because he'll be able to run the ball.

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