Michigan State Football: Top 10 players of the Mark Dantonio era

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Nov 30, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio and safety Isaiah Lewis (9) and cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) celebrate after a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Spartan Stadium.MSU won 14-3. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Dantonio has become one of the best coaches in all of college football and even the top sports publications, such as the Sporting News, have ranked him as one of the top-five coaches in the nation.

It’s easy to see just why Dantonio is one of the most respected coaches in the country. He brought a Michigan State football program that was run into the dirt by John L. Smith and a handful of other coaches and turned it into an elite football school.

When listening to recruits talk about Michigan State, they are often mentioning the national prowess the Spartans have and that just shows how the tides have changed dramatically.

During his time at Michigan State, Dantonio has seen a few staff members earn head coaching jobs elsewhere and has had 21 of his players drafted into the NFL since taking over in 2007 — 14 of those players have been drafted since 2012.

The success in recent years has been due to a staff dedicated to the improvement of players as well as the recruiting of some of the nation’s top as well as most underrated players.

There have been many players in the Dantonio era at Michigan State that have contributed to the major success the program has seen and they have helped the head coach get to where he is today.

It’s hard to decide who the top players of the Dantonio era are, but I have compiled a list for Spartan Nation to debate on. Please note that this list does not include any current MSU players and is intended for those who have already moved on to the next level or just on from football, in general.

So, no Connor Cook, Shilique Calhoun or Jack Conklin… yet.

Next: 10. Jeremy Langford, RB