The last two seasons the Michigan State Spartans have finished with 10 or more wins for the first time in the football program's history. The recent success is just one reason future recruits should look into becoming a Spartan.
Here are my top reasons that I believe high school recruits should look into playing for Michigan State:
1. Coach Mark Dantonio
The Michigan State football program has been very successful during head coach Mark Dantonio's five seasons. In the 2010 season, he led the Spartans to their first 11-win season in program history. He led the Spartans to another 11 wins in the 2011 season, which gives them double-digit wins in consecutive years for the first time in program history. He has also led the Spartans football team to a bowl game in each of his five seasons as head coach. Dantonio also led the Spartans to an Outback bowl victory this season over a 10-win University of Georgia team.
Last season, the Spartans were Co-Big Ten champions, and this season they won the Legends division and played in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game. Since Dantonio became the head coach at Michigan State, the Spartans have been one of the top teams in the Big Ten, which should appeal to high school recruits.
2. Recent Player Success
Most top-rated recruits also have a dream to play in the NFL, and Michigan State has proven that some of its best players play at that next level. The Spartans have created NFL players in the past, but this 2011 season could be their best class in a while.
The Spartans have five players that will represent the team in postseason all-star games. The five players are wide receivers B.J. Cunningham and Keith Nichol, quarterback Kirk Cousins, tight end Brian Linthicum, and safety Trenton Robinson. The Spartans also have two juniors that will enter the 2012 NFL draft--defensive tackle Jerel Worthy and running back Edwin Baker. The Spartans also have a couple of players that are coming back to the team that could play in the NFL in the future. They have two very good young defensive ends in Marcus Rush and William Gholston. Rush went on to become a Football Writers Association of America's Freshman All-American, while Gholston had a dominant season as a sophomore.
3. Pro-style Formations
The Spartans use conventional pro-style formations on both side of the ball that should look appealing to recruits looking to play in the NFL. The Spartans' offense uses the running game to set up the play-action pass to give them a well-balanced attack. Also, like most teams in the NFL, the Spartans line up in many different formations to create mismatches. On the defensive side of the ball, the Spartans use a 4-3 formation, which about half of the NFL teams use.
The Spartans have had a lot of success with this defense as of late, becoming one of the best defenses in the Big Ten Conference.
Justin Scott was born in Michigan and has been a lifelong fan of the Michigan State Spartans. Readers can follow Justin on Twitter @JScottWriter.
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