The wait is over and Michigan State football coach Jonathan Smith has hired a defensive coordinator, poaching Minnesota's Joe Rossi.
Rossi has an extremely impressive track record having top ten defenses in terms of points allowed in 2021 and 2022. However, 2023 was a different story but his squad was riddled with injuries. When his defense is at full strength and firing on all cylinders, they are a top defense in the nation.
But here are some other things to know about Rossi
1. Joe Rossi went to Division III Allegheny College
Why is this important? Two reasons. The first is that he has knowledge of the area of the Midwest and can be an excellent recruiter. Born in Pittsburgh, Rossi can battle against the heavyweight Penn State for top recruits out of Pennsylvania, a top-10 state when it comes to high school football talent. With only two players from the state of Pennsylvania on the roster last year (Cal Haladay and portal-recruiter extraordinaire Ken Talley), the Spartans must break into the area close to bring in more top talent.
Reason No. 2 why Rossi's alma mater is important? In the age of the transfer portal, top talent from Division III schools can make a direct impact on your favorite team with a breakout season.
If Jonathan Smith goes that route, Rossi can be a good medium between a big time program and knowing the ins and outs of a smaller school. Shared experiences can help these recruits with transition as Rossi knows what it takes to win at both levels.