Michigan State’s football program is no less the program than it was before last season. Not yet, at least.
The Spartans had a rough fall, grinding out a 7-6 season because of a sputtering offense.
Physically, however, MSU remains where it was in 2010 and 2011 and well above where it used to be — it’s right there with Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin at this point.
The Spartans lost 12-10 on the road to the Wolverines, played U-M toe-to-toe physically.
But, apparently, the perspective of a high school junior is a bit less analytical, more gullible, with the attention span and memory of, well, a high school junior in the must-glance-at-my-cell-phone-during-every-free-second-for-stimulation generation.
Heralded football recruit Drake Harris, of Grand Rapids Christian, decommitted from MSU Monday. He sort of had already, but he dumped the Spartans from his list altogether, the two-sport high school star telling reporters, “Since I’m just playing football (in college) now, I want to play at a bigger school, win a national championship.”
(Perhaps someone should share MSU’s enrollment with young Harris.)
He could do that at MSU, just as likely as he could at Michigan right now. The Wolverines’ program is in no better shape. Ask Michigan fans and media, who collectively exhaled with more force than I’ve ever felt in a press box and stadium after the Wolverines escaped a fifth straight defeat to MSU last fall. Michigan’s players, coaches and even fans understand there is no physical separation between the two programs these days.
At MSU, you can win a national title. It’s difficult. But no less likely than at U-M.
But, again, MSU went 7-6 and didn’t meet its own touted expectations. So, the story and the vibe all last season was one of disappointment. Harris clearly felt it.
Losing Harris might or might not hurt MSU. By all accounts, he’s the real deal as a wide receiver.
More importantly for the Spartans is to realize why he decommitted and what last season did to perception of MSU in the feeble minds of teenagers. And that makes this season all the more important.