Spring practices started for the Michigan State football team Tuesday, and for players its provided an opportunity to get better acquainted with the newest staff members.
New defensive line coach Ron Burton and new co-offensive coordinator Jim Bollman have impressed so far through early interactions.
MSU defensive lineman Marcus Rush said Burton, has brought a lot of intensity, new ideas and excitement.
“He did a great job coming in here and he’s made it really comfortable,” Rush said. “He’s exciting, an entertaining kind of guy, up-tempo and always has a smile on his face. It’s been a great time so far.”
Offensive linemen Travis Jackson and Fou Fonoti have similarly been impressed with Bollman.
“Coach Bollman knows his stuff,” Jackson said. “He came in here, put a different twist on our offense and we’re really excited about that. You can tell he’s very respected by all the coaches here and that creates respect from all the players very quickly. He came in and asserted himself quickly which was awesome. He’s gonna fit in just fine.”
Jackson said Bollman has implemented new blocking schemes with a few plays where the Spartans will be using the athleticism of the interior guys on the offensive line.
MSU coach Mark Dantonio said he’s been very impressed with Burton and has noticed some of the new ideas implemented by Bollman already.
“I think Coach Burton has been tremendous out on the field when I’ve watched him, very active with his players, great drills that simulate a lot of the things a defensive lineman would do without stepping over the line,” Dantonio said. “A lot of good footwork drills and things of that nature that simulate things that they would have to do. He’s been very on task, I think, not just in working with our players but with recruiting aspects, et cetera, that go on.
“Jim Bollman is probably two weeks behind him, and he’s with the offense and with our tight ends and they’ve not done as much on the field because we had a week off. He’s just been here a week with our players. But you can look for great things from him. He’s a very, very good football coach, and I think he’s brought some new ideas and implemented some new things already.”