With the season opener 26-days away, Mark Dantonio is wasting little time in getting his team prepared for Boise State and the remainder of a tough schedule.
One area of concern for the sixth-year head coach is the lack of senior depth on the roster. However, Dantonio feels strongly about those wearing the Green & White.
"We have a relatively small senior class, but a very large junior class (22 on preseason roster) that will pay dividends down the road,” said Dantonio. “Thus far, both classes (juniors and seniors) have done a nice job of providing leadership. We'll find out more about those classes when they have to lead during the tough times."
One of the seniors Dantonio is counting on for leadership is senior outside linebacker Chris Norman. Norman likes what he’s after a couple of days.
"I'm very pleased because my guys are out here having fun on the practice field," said Norman. "Preseason camp can become a grind if you don't have the right attitude and work ethic. The guys aren't afraid to work, and they're having fun doing through the various drills.
"I'm proud of the job the freshmen have done so far. Nobody is out there making critical errors. They're out there learning, and they're learning fast. We'll see steady improvement from that group over the next four weeks.
"I've been here for four years now and I know the first day in pads is always the most exciting day of preseason camp. So we have two days in shells ahead of us, then the fun really begins."
Dantonio and Norman both know Monday will provide the next test on how the 2012 Spartans approach the upcoming season.
"Things will start getting a little more interesting tomorrow (as the team practices in shells for the first time),” said Dantonio. “We've got to maintain our discipline as the players begin contact. We certainly look forward to seeing how the freshmen move when carrying their pads."
*Quotes provided by MSU Athletics*