Trust is key for Jonathan Smith's Michigan State football team

Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA

Trust can make or break you, and in college football gaining trust between players and coaches is a real difference-maker. Who can hold who accountable? That has been a big factor for the players who are now the face of Michigan State football.

Now well into his first spring practices as the head coach of Michigan State, Jonathan Smith has had a lot of work to do. Not just with building a roster, or staff for that matter.

When Smith was introduced he spoke a lot about preaching and building trust amongst everyone involved. That was something that stuck with rising sophomore linebacker Jordan Hall.

There have been plenty of coaches who have preached trust, but that was something that Hall admitted wanting Smith to prove.

When he first met with the team after arriving in East Lansing, Smith got right to work on trying to connect with everyone who was already in the program and even asked the players to write down three things that each of them thought were some of the biggest issues with the 2023 team.

Hall was one of the many skeptical players at the beginning because he saw all that went down in 2023 and the real lack of leadership and trust. Hall included two very major issues the previous year's team had, but according to him the third thing he wrote down was the biggest and that was trust so he wrote down his phone number.

Hall spoke with Brendan Moore of Spartans Illustrated about building trust between himself and Smith. This leads back to that first day, and Hall wrote down his number, as he saw that as the best possible way to build trust with the coach.

"A lot of head coaches when they're in the position, they car, but not to a certain extent," Hall said. "They'll have someone else do it just to kind of see what the basis is."

Hall had told Smith to give him a call, once he had read his note, and Smith did exactly that Hall admitted.

"He gave me a call (and) we sat down," Hall said. "That was kind of like a big jump start to our relationship. Just from that experience alone, I have a lot of trust in him and I feel like he has the team's best intrest at heart."

That is why Trust is earned not given. Michigan State has lacked that trust for some time now, especially after the crap show that was the Mel Tucker era.

Player and coaches connecting together to achieve goals higher than themselves is all about trust, and that lacked with the previous regime. You have to go back to the Mark Dantonio era to remember the last time trust was real from this program.

Hence why they won three Big Ten Titles from 2010-15, and were amongst the best teams in the country.

If the players can't trust the coaches, how do you expect us the fans to trust them? I, for one, trust the process and fully believe Smith, like Dantonio, can get us back to where we belong. It all starts with the word "trust".