January 24, 2011

CLEMONS: 'I Feel Like I Belong There'

When Delaware Valley (PA) High School football coach Keith Olsommer was a starting tight end at Penn State in the mid-1990's, he remembers coming out of games against Michigan State with a few more bumps and bruises than he had against other Big Ten opponents.

"I always knew we were going to play tough, physical, blue collar kids," recalled Olsommer. "I always thought that they were one of the more physical teams in the conference and we always had dogfights with them. I think it is because you have two blue collar programs, especially Michigan State. They recruit tough hardworking blue collar kids that buy into what they are doing."

Michigan State got away from those program values for a few years at the beginning of the last decade, but the Spartans have been steadily moving back to their roots during the last four years under Big Ten Coach of the year Mark Dantonio. Olsommer has been impressed with what the Spartans have going under Dantonio.

"It is a first-class school," said Olsommer. "Coach Dantonio and his staff are taking the program to new heights. You can see that over the course of the last four years. I know that the bowl game wasn't what they wanted, but I think this year's season speaks for itself. They played at a high level with the exception of two games and you have that occasionally at every school."

The former Penn State tight end believes that the Michigan State program provides an excellent opportunity for Delaware Valley standout, Brandon Clemons, to develop into a productive Big Ten football player.

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