NCAA The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time  

Ranker College Football
7.1k votes 1k voters 16.9k views 62 items

List Rules Upvote the best football players in Michigan State history. Vote based on each athlete's career at MSU only.

Michigan State is an athletic powerhouse and their football program is no exception. The Spartans have six national championships to their name as well as eight Big-10 conference championships.

Football is a team sport, but Michigan State has had some remarkable talent suit up for them over the years.

Who do you think is the best Michigan State Football player ever? Cast your votes for the best Spartans to ever play football at Michigan State and see who is truly the best.
list ordered by

1
495 126
Le'Veon Bell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

2
314 91
Bubba Smith is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Defensive tackle, Defensive end, Defensive lineman

3
369 118
Kirk Cousins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

4
188 65
Morten Andersen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Placekicker

5
196 70
Lorenzo White is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Running back

6
235 92
Plaxico Burress is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

7
206 76
Andre Rison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

8
174 73
Darqueze Dennard is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

9
138 52
Mark Ingram, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Wide receiver

10
126 45
Carl Banks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

11
46 5
T. J. Duckett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Running back -

Caught winning TD pass to beat M******* with one second on the clock. First-round draft choice of Atlanta Falcons. 

12
222 109
Connor Cook is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

13
157 73
Jeremy Langford is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
eddie-thomas added

14
112 45
Percy Snow is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

15
101 38
Flozell Adams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Tackle

16
86 28
Muhsin Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Wide receiver

17
128 60
Shilique Calhoun is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Shilique Calhoun

18
127 61
Drew Stanton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

19
102 44
Brad Van Pelt is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

20
44 7
Trae Waynes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Trae Waynes Cornerback -

A lightly-regarded recruit out of Wisconsin that MSU coaches turned into an All-B1G CB and first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings.

21
37 5
George Webster is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Linebacker -

Often ranked as the greatest all-time player in Spartan history - he was able to play safety and linebacker. Health problems tragically cut his life short, but a true Spartan legend. 

22
122 63
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

23
93 42
Julian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

24
95 46
Javon Ringer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Running back

25
39 7
Jack Conklin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Jack Conklin Offensive Tackle -

Originally a walk-on, MSU's coaches turned him into an All-American OT and a first-round draft pick and All-Pro for the Tennesee Titans. 

26
79 39
Earl Morrall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Punter, Quarterback

27
75 36
Herb Adderley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Cornerback, Return specialist

28
75 36
Joe DeLamielleure is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Offensive Lineman, Guard

29
116 68
Brian Hoyer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

30
100 58
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

31
37 8
Kirk Gibson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Wide receiver -

All B1G WR for the Spartans before becoming a baseball legend!

32
33 6
Keyshawn Martin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Keyshawn Martin Wide Receiver -

Great WR/KR in Sparta has gone on to a prolific NFL career. 

33
49 23
Billy Joe DuPree is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Tight end

34
62 34
Chuck Bullough is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Chuck Bullough Linebacker

35
27 5
Bennie Fowler is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Bennie Fowler Wide Receiver -

Great WR in Sparta who went on to catch Payton Manning's final career pass in the Super Bowl, for a 2 point conversion to ice the victory!

36
33 12
L.J. Scott is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Timothy Hayes added L.J. Scott Running Back

37
24 6
Tico Duckett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Tico Duckett Running Back -

Great Spartan running back!

38
22 5
Domata Peko is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Defensive tackle -

Long-time NFL nose tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos

39
23 6
Derrick Mason is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added

Only player in NFL history with more than 10000 receiving yards and 5000 return yards. 2 time All-Pro. Was a kick returner par excellence for Sparta before his distinguished NFL career.

40
23 7
Mike Sadler is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Mike Sadler

Great punter in his years at MSU, but tragically died in a car accident a year after graduating.....

41
56 37
Greg Jones is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Greg Jones Linebacker

42
20 7
Gene Washington is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Gene Washington

Another star for the Spartans when many teams wouldn't even accept African-American players. He went from blazing trails and winning National Championships at MSU to blazing past stunned DBs in his long NFL career! 

43
16 4
Blair White is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Blair White Wide receiver -

Originally a walk-on who went on to be a Wolverine killer and then a favorite target of Peyton Manning's in Indianapolis. Retired early to pursue a medical career. 

44
15 4
Sedrick Irvin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Sedrick Irvin Running back -

A dazzling RB for the Spartans, related to NFL great Michael Irvin and went on to the NFL himself. 

45
15 5
Bob Apisa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Bob Apisa Fullback -

Besides blazing trails for African-Americans, MSU also was the first football power to recruit Polynesian-Americans. Apisa was a powerful FB, Wolverine killer, and National Champion!

46
14 5
Gene Washington is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Wide Receiver -

Another star for the Spartans in the 1950s, before many college teams would even accept African-American players. National Chjaj

47
21 12
Jalen Watts-Jackson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Jalen Watts-Jackson Cornerback -

The fumbled M******* punt, the scoop, the weaving run, the score that made it "Fail to the Victors" - instant Spartan legend!

48
12 4
Willie Thrower is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Quarterback -

 Led MSU to one of their six National Championships when many college teams wouldn't even let African-Americans play. He went on to be the first African-American QB in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. 

49
13 5
Gene Washington is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Wide receiver

50
13 5
Tyrone Willingham is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Quarterback, Wide receiver -

He starred as a QB when other teams wouldn't even give African-Americans a chance.....