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Michigan State Poaches Top Big 12 Assistant

A closeup of a Michigan State football helmet.

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: A Michigan State helmet sits on the sideline during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Michigan State got a very late start in the coaching cycle, only recently hiring Mel Tucker out of Colorado after Mark Dantonio stepped down. But it isn't stopping them from picking up some top assistants to join Tucker's staff.

The latest addition to their staff comes courtesy of a raid on a successful Big 12 program. According to, Kansas State defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton is expected to leave the Wildcats and join the Spartans in the same role.

Hazelton is coming off a wildly successful first year in Manhattan that saw them finish second in the Big 12 in points allowed. The Wildcats went on to finish fourth in the Big 12 with an 8-5 record under first-year head coach Chris Klieman. Among those wins was a massive upset of the Oklahoma.

Per the report, Hazelton received an offer from Michigan State that Kansas State "can't match." Considering that Hazelton is reportedly making around $550,000 per year with the Wildcats, it looks like he's about to get a huge payday.

On top of his experience at Kansas State, Hazelton has experience coaching in FCS and the NFL. He served as the defensive coordinator for the 2011 FCS National Champion North Dakota State Bison, and an assistant linebackers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He's going to be difficult for Klieman and the Wildcats to replace this late in the year.

Was this a good hire by Michigan State? And who should Kansas State look to as a replacement?