Hoke, Dantonio speak at clinic for HS coaches
Andrew Maxwell is still Michigan State's No. 1 quarterback. Michigan punter Will Hagerup remains suspended.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and Michigan's Brady Hoke spoke Friday in separate hour-long presentations at a clinic for the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. They both talked to reporters for a bit, as well, but didn't have any major news as the offseason begins.
Maxwell was Dantonio's starter this season, but he ended up splitting time in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl with Connor Cook, and it was Cook who led a drive to the winning field goal in that game.
''I will say this: Andrew Maxwell's still our No. 1 quarterback,'' Dantonio said. ''He's been in our program for four years. He understands what to do, he needs to do things better at certain times, and that's where I stand on it.''
Dantonio didn't want to look too far ahead to spring practice, and Hoke wasn't particularly forthcoming, either. When asked about Hagerup, who was suspended last month for a violation of team rules, Hoke simply said: ''Still suspended.'' He repeated that response when asked if Hagerup was still on the team.
Cornerback Blake Countess, who went down with a season-ending knee injury in Michigan's opener against Alabama, may be able to participate in spring practice to some degree.
''We'll see. He may be able to do some stuff,'' Hoke said. ''He's getting along well.''
Last year at this event, Dantonio was involved in a mini-flap when he reportedly interrupted Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski during Hecklinski's presentation. Dantonio said at the time he didn't know how the format would work.
''I didn't want it to become a recruiting presentation,'' he told the Detroit Free Press at the time.
Hoke said Friday that the situation ''wasn't a big deal.'' This year, Hoke made his presentation then Dantonio began his about a half-hour after Hoke finished.
During his speech, Dantonio said he lets his players evaluate him anonymously on a number of traits.
''They're always down on my sense of humor,'' Dantonio said. ''But if you were here last year, you know I've got one, right?''
Dantonio told reporters Friday he regretted last year's incident immediately.
Michigan went 8-5 this past season, and Michigan State was 7-6. Hoke spent much of his presentation focusing on how he prepares his team during the week for a game. Dantonio went through a list of ''24 Thoughts/Things To Do'' and also showed film of some practice drills.
There were light moments, such as when Dantonio talked about an attempt to entertain his players.
''Are they having fun? That's important, to make sure that they're having fun,'' Dantonio said. ''So don't take yourself so seriously. Down in Arizona, I rode a horse out to practice.''
Hoke wrapped up his expose with a calm but harsh assessment of Michigan's season.
''Bad year, to be honest with you,'' Hoke said after initially using a less printable adjective. ''Eight games, that's not good enough. That's not good enough. Proud of the kids, extremely proud how they kept moving forward, but it wasn't the year that Michigan deserves.''