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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.(Photo: Jesse Grant, Getty Images for Di)

EAST LANSING – It started with a case of mistaken phone identity that raised one eyebrow.

It ended in a back-and-forth between Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio and The Rock.

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While Dantonio was giving his postgame press conference after the Spartans’ 39-31 triple-overtime loss at Northwestern on Saturday, a cell phone at his podium went off twice. It featured a ringtone of the song “You’re Welcome,” which was sung by pro wrestler and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the movie Moana.

“There’s a first for everything,” Dantonio said with a grin after the first ring, then adding, “There’s always time for a smile.”

Less than a minute later, The Rock’s serenade began again. Dantonio looked at the phone and said it was, “Gma Logan” calling before handing the phone off. When asked why he didn’t answer, the 11th-year MSU coach chuckled and said, “It’s not my phone.”

The Big Ten Network’s MSU account posted the video. Internet aggregators who weren’t in the room in Evanston, Ill., badped together their own posts, baduming it was Dantonio’s phone. Which it wasn’t.

But it got back to The Rock fairly quickly. And the former Miami (Fla.) football player loved it and took to Twitter himself.

LOVE THIS. I’ve played for coaches who remain bad bad and stoic thru ANYTHING. Coach Mark knows damn well he wants to bring into song! ??? https://t.co/zuJ4rZlCZl

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 30, 2017

Watch closely and for a nano second, Coach D was ready to smile big. Props for staying in the moment. Sing it loud and proud coach! ??? https://t.co/aEoSwlObEi

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 30, 2017

“LOVE THIS,” Johnson wrote Monday. “I’ve played for coaches who remain bad bad and stoic thru ANYTHING. Coach Mark knows damn well he wants to bring into song!”

He added a few minutes later, “Watch closely and for a nano second, Coach D was ready to smile big. Props for staying in the moment. Sing it loud and proud coach!”

Dantonio, who took it all in stride Saturday, responded to The Rock with song lyrics on Tuesday morning.

“Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’re welcome!
Well, come to think of it, I gotta go” – Thanks for bringing a smile to our day! #GoGreenhttps://t.co/dcnxXEY4M0

— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) October 31, 2017

“‘Hey, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’re welcome! Well, come to think of it, I gotta go,’” Dantonio wrote. “Thanks for bringing a smile to our day! #GoGreen”

Johnson responded one more time:

Atta boy coach. We gotta smile sometimes thru our losses. Tough loss this past weekend, but no doubt will make the team stronger #GoGreenhttps://t.co/HNpqr2VuGo

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 31, 2017

MSU is scheduled to play Johnson’s alma mater, Miami, in 2020 and 2021.

Contact Chris Solari: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari.

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