On National Signing Day, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio described his program as possessing a “national brand.”
What does that mean? To him, it means that no matter where he goes in the country, people see the Spartans logo on his shirt and know what program he represents. That, in turn, helps with recruiting.
“You walk in here or when you walk into any high school in America, any high school in America, you have a Spartan on your shirt, you’re going to be in the hunt,” Dantonio said. “Doesn’t mean you’re going to get them.”
That said, Michigan State has not landed many commitments from New England or the West Coast in recent years. It has relied largely on success in Michigan and Ohio.
But Dantonio doesn’t measure success based on which players commit to the Spartans. He has a different metric.
“If we’re in the top five of their programs, we win,” he said. “We’re winning a ton of players. So that constitutes winning and losing in recruiting. What makes up that last one is a combination of everything: coach, players, their experiences here, distance, position, opportunity to play early, NFL prospects, all these different things. So that’s hard.”
Fans certainly won’t view it as a win when the Spartans land in a cut list for a top target. They want to be the final program on his list.
With that said, let’s take a look at the distribution of recruits in each class after the 2010 season, Dantonio’s first with double-digit wins as a head coach.