EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The BTN Football Tour hit East Lansing Saturday on its seventh stop to shoot footage and interviews for Monday night's episode of BTN Live. The daily 90-minute show, which airs weeknights from 5-6:30 p.m., will devote a majority of its programming on Monday (Aug. 14) with coverage from Michigan State's practice. The show will re-air at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The show will check in with reports on practice from Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith, who will provide on-the-field analysis of Michigan State's top newcomers, rising stars, important position battles and 2017 schedule.
The show will give an inside look at a Spartan practice and also includes interviews with head coach Mark Dantonio, assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett, co-offensive coordinator/running backs coach Dave Warner, senior linebacker Chris Frey and sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke. In addition, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart caught up with junior running back LJ Scott.
DiNardo came away impressed with the Spartans following practice.
"I saw a lot of energy out there today," said DiNardo. "My impression was that this looked like one of Mark Dantonio's (earlier) teams as they were building toward that Alabama national semifinal game. Young teams are always fun to coach, they just have this innocent climb about themselves, that not much is expected of them and every day is a good day because they're getting better.
"The other big thing I noticed was that even though they were just in shells, they got as much done in shells as you can do in full pads. That just further tells you that Coach Dantonio has been here for going on his 11th year and everyone knows the routine.
"I always look for everybody coaching in the individual groups. I've picked up some new drills. They've broken down the defensive coaches a little more, which I think, especially in the age of the spread is difficult, having Harlon Barnett coordinate and coach the back end is very difficult, so he's now getting some help from a graduate assistant. With the defensive line adding Mark Snyder with Ron Burton is a different way of doing the coaching staff on defense, which I thought was a great deal."
Although Michigan State features a young team full of underclassmen, Revsine thought the talent level remained strong for the Spartans.
"One thing that stood out is that there is a lot of talent here," said Revsine. "I know last year wasn't anywhere near where this program wants to be and what it has been in recent history. But it's not a lack of talent. There's a lot of guys who can run, and it's a really impressive group physically. So it was encouraging, because you feel like there's no doubt the opportunity to bounce back, and bounce back reasonably quickly, given the talent level that we saw out there.
"I always feel like Mark Dantonio's practices are uber organized; they get a lot out of the time that they spend (with the players). There aren't a lot of guys standing around. That's something that's always impressed me here. It feels like a lot of guys are getting reps. And (the practices) are intense, but they're light-hearted. At the end of the day, it is supposed to be fun for these guys, and they put in a lot of hard work, but there is a feeling of family and camaraderie that comes through that they're having a good time together."
Michigan State will return to the practice field for its 13th workout of preseason camp on Monday.