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Jan. 15 has come and gone, so Mark Dantonio is due $4.3 million retention bonus

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Believe it or not, Mark Dantonio will now be one of the highest-paid coaches in college football this year.  In very large part, as it turns out, because of a date on the calendar.

Back in October, we noted that Mark Dantonio would be due a very hefty bonus if were still the head football coach at Michigan State on Jan. 15.  It’s now Jan. 16, and Dantonio is still MSU’s coach.  Thus, per the terms of his contract, Dantonio is due a retention bonus in the amount of a whopping $4.3 million.

The contract calls for the bonus to be paid on or before March 31 of this year.

Including the retention bonus, Dantonio will make $8.6 million in guaranteed compensation in 2020.  That would’ve made Dantonio the third-highest-paid head coach in college football.  The only two ahead of him?  Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($9.32 million) and Alabama’s Nick Saban ($8.87 million).

In February of 2016, MSU announced that it had reached an agreement on a revamped contract for Mark Dantonio that pushed his annual guaranteed compensation to north of $4 million. Since that extension, which came off of three straight 10-win seasons and four in five years, the Spartans have gone 27-24, including a second-straight 7-6 record this past season. The Spartans are 17-19 in Big Ten play since then as well.  Combine that recent futility with an offense that has languished near the bottom of the Big Ten during that stretch — and was the impetus for the coach to chafe at reporter’s dumb-ass question on at least one occasion — and you had chatter surrounding Dantonio and his long-term viability growing louder by the week.

Add that on-field unevenness with off-field issues that will play out in court beginning this month, and the speculation has been swirling as to how long Dantonio will continue on as the Spartans’ coach.  Dantonio stated in November that he would be returning to East Lansing for a 14th season in 2020.

At least for now, Dantonio also has the support of athletic director Bill Beekman and university president Samuel Stanley.

Son of Michigan OL coach Ed Warinner transfers to U-M from Michigan State

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A very familiar surname has been added to the Michigan football team.

A Michigan football spokesperson confirmed to mlive.com that Edward Warinner has enrolled at the university will play for the Wolverines in 2020.  Warinner is the son of U-M offensive line coach Ed Warinner.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the younger Warinner had entered the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving Michigan State.

It’s believed that Warinner will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He would then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2021.

Warinner was a three-star member of Michigan State’s 2018 recruiting class, rated as the No. 51 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 48 player at any position in the state of Ohio.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Warinner played in seven games this past season.  Most of that action came on special teams.

The elder Warinner has spent the past two seasons as the line coach at Michigan and will be entering his third year with Jim Harbaugh‘s program in 2020.  He’s also spent time at Minnesota (2017), Ohio State (2012-16), Notre Dame (2010-11), Kansas (2007-09; 2003-04) and Illinois (2005-06).  In 1985-86, Warinner was a graduate assistant at MSI.

Cody White, Michigan State’s leading receiver, declares for NFL draft

Cody White declares for NFL draft
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One of Michigan State’s top offensive players from the past two seasons is heading to the NFL. Wide receiver Cody White declared for the NFL draft and will forgo his senior season in East Lansing. White announced his plans in a statement on his Twitter account on Friday.

“East Lansing will always have a special place in my heart,” White said in his statement. “With that being said, after a tough decision, I have decided to pursue my lifelong dream of playing in the NFL. I will be forgoing my senior season and will enter the 020 NFL Draft.”

White is coming off a 2019 season that saw him lead the Spartans with 922 yards and six touchdowns. He scored the eventual game-winning touchdown in Michigan State’s Pinstripe Bowl victory over Wake Forest. White also was Michigan State’s leading receiver in 2018 with 555 yards and his two touchdowns were second-most on the team while appearing in just nine games.

White enters a draft pool that is pretty deep with talent this year. NFL teams looking for wide receivers will have plenty of options available to them. Having some NFL family history is never a bad thing either. White’s father, Sheldon White, played six years in the NFL with the New York Giants, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals. He later went on to be the Vice President of Pro Personnel with the Lions and was an interim general manager before leaving to join the Michigan State program in 2016 as an executive director of player personnel and recruiting when his son

Previously, Michigan State cornerback Josiah Scott declared for the NFL Draft as a significant amount of roster turnover continues for Michigan State through graduating players, the NFL draft and the transfer portal.

Western Michigan officially adds transfers from Pitt, Michigan State, Nevada

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It was a busy day on the personnel front for the Western Michigan football program.

Friday, WMU announced the additions of three transfers from FBS schools — defensive back Therran Coleman, running back Jaxson Kincaide and running back La’Darius Jefferson.  Coleman (Pitt) and Kincaide (Nevada), come to WMU as graduate transfers.  Jefferson (Michigan State) will have to sit out the 2020 season.  He’ll then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2020.

During his four years at Nevada, Kincaide ran for 894 yards and six touchdowns on 199 carries.  He also caught 38 passes for another 316 yards and three touchdowns.

Prior to his decision to enter the NCAA transfer database in late September, Kincaide played in just four games, which allowed him to use a redshirt and preserve a season of eligibility.  It had previously been reported that Kincaide would be transferring to the Broncos.

In two seasons at Michigan State, Jefferson ran for 280 yards and four touchdowns on 97 carries.  His best season came as a true freshman as he ran the ball 28 times for 255 yards and a pair of scores.

Coleman played in 34 games over the past three seasons for the Panthers and was credited with 18 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.

Cincinnati new home for Michigan State transfer TE Noah Davis

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One of the handful of Michigan State football players who entered the portal the past few months has found a new college football home.

On Twitter Wednesday, Noah Davis (pictured, No. 84) announced that he will be transferring to Cincinnati.  Davis had entered the NCAA transfer database in mid-October.

The move is a return home as Davis played his high school football in the city of Cincinnati.

Because he is leaving the Michigan State football program as a graduate of the university, he’ll be eligible to contribute on the field for the Bearcats in 2020.  The upcoming season will be the tight ends’ final year of eligibility, unless he seeks a sixth season from the NCAA.

Davis was a three-star member of Michigan State football’s 2016 recruiting class.  He was rated as the No. 23 player at any position in the state of Ohio on the 247Sports.com composite.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Davis played in 11 games in 2017.  An injury ended up costing him the entire 2018 season.  In 2019, he played in four games before deciding to enter the portal.

During his time in East Lansing, Davis caught three passes for 22 yards.  He also returned one kickoff for another 12 yards.