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Spartans Conduct First Preseason Practice

Aug. 9, 2010

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State football team held its first practice of the 2010 season Monday afternoon inside the Duffy Daugherty Building. Prior to practice, fourth-year head coach Mark Dantonio met with the media and talked about his goals for the first day of the season.

On what he's looking for in a first practice...
"We're really looking for retention from our older players and it's an introduction for our newer players. This is the first time we've been able to see some of our new guys. I'll be out here watching William Gholston move around, Mylan Hicks, some of these guys we're really excited about. Skyler Schofner (as well). It gives us an opportunity to look at them a little bit...Certainly we don't want to get anybody hurt out here in shorts. (We're) just getting back into it. A lot of mental things right now."

On how the conditioning test in the morning went compared to past years...
"Very, very close (to past years). You're always going to have a couple of guys that aren't going to make it, especially when you're dealing with some really big guys. About 95 percent (passed). Usually the other guys make it on the second day or so. I'm very happy with what everybody was able to do. We had a lot of freshman pass that test for the first time; we had some guys come in and run it very well."

On who is more excited for the first day of practice, coaches or players...
"I always remember my first day as a freshman, going way back. I think you always remember that day. As a coach, you're anxious to get back out there and see what the new year has for you. As an older player, as a starter, as a leader, you're looking forward to those challenges. I think it's a little bit different for everybody. As far as anxiety, or anxiousness, that's going to exist for everybody. It's always fun to get back out on the field."

On what's bigger for the coaches, the first day of practice or the first day in pads...
"I think the first day of pads. The first day of pads you start playing football and start figuring who can play for you a little bit more. But there's certainly a lot you can see (today) in terms of how guys move, retention, quickness and athletic ability, especially with skills guys."

On the work ethic of the incoming freshmen class...
"That's what's been impressive about our freshmen group, (from) what we've seen, in how they came out and ran the conditioning test today and some of the things that Coach (Ken) Mannie has said...They have a certain amount of maturity in terms of how they've approached things, I guess; that's a positive, and last year's class did the same thing. But we've had players every year that have been ready to play. We've had six or seven players on our football team every year that as true freshman were playing."

On how he would describe a typical first practice in August...
"First practice in August I think is a lot of energy, a lot of talk, a lot of communication. Nobody wants to get hurt, so coaches aren't going to have people run into each other too often. I think there's a lot of energy. That's how I would describe it everywhere right now. Everybody steps into the college game right now with equal footing and everyone wants to win a Big Ten Championship or win a championship somewhere. That's exciting not only for players and coaches, but for fans too."



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