Mark Dantonio's success in East Lansing has drawn the attention of front office personnel in the NFL at the combine the past two seasons in particular, and as the Spartan's hosted their Pro Day for NFL scouts recently, Dantonio reflected on the enormous amount of success and influence that the outgoing senior class had on the program.
"Our senior class is the winningest class in Michigan State history, and that's a statement in itself, they helped changed the culture. I think the culture was changing from 2007 on … but they continued to set the bar higher.''
This season Michigan State became the first team in the history of Big Ten play to win all nine conference games by double digits, all while entering the season with more questions marks than certainties at key positions. While the staff that Dantonio has put together, and the players and scheme certainly played their respective roles, Dantonio notes that their success was the product of two things in particular; chemistry, and a "culture of confidence."
"I've continually said this: we have great players and great coaches, but we've won big here because of chemistry,'' Dantonio told MLive.
"We have players here who believe in themselves, we have an environment where our players can be productive and they can thrive, and they feed off each other,'' he said. "We have good people. There's a culture of confidence here.''
Chemistry is something every coach strives for when taking over a program. It's why we push the limits during two-a-days and off season training, and take the entire team to camps and on retreats. Ask any coach their blueprint for success in the team chemistry department and you'll get a million different excellent ideas.
Instilling a "culture of confidence" on the other hand is a very different story, and Dantonio feels like they've cornered the market in that department.