NCAA The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time  

Ranker College Football
7.5k votes 1k voters 17.7k 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
514 140
Le'Veon Bell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

2
332 93
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
386 122
Kirk Cousins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

4
209 72
Lorenzo White is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Running back

5
218 78
Andre Rison is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

6
199 68
Morten Andersen is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Placekicker

7
244 94
Plaxico Burress is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

8
146 53
Mark Ingram, Sr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Wide receiver

9
134 47
Carl Banks is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

10
179 74
Darqueze Dennard is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

11
53 7
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
121 46
Percy Snow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

13
225 112
Connor Cook is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

14
162 74
Jeremy Langford is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
eddie-thomas added

15
91 29
Muhsin Muhammad is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Wide receiver

16
104 40
Flozell Adams is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Tackle

17
110 45
Brad Van Pelt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

18
132 60
Shilique Calhoun is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Shilique Calhoun

19
132 63
Drew Stanton is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

20
49 8
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
129 65
Charles Rogers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver

22
41 6
George Webster is listed (or ranked) 22 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. 

23
98 44
Julian Peterson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Linebacker

24
46 8
Jack Conklin is listed (or ranked) 24 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. 

25
46 8
Kirk Gibson is listed (or ranked) 25 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!

26
99 48
Javon Ringer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Running back

27
37 6
Keyshawn Martin is listed (or ranked) 27 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. 

28
82 40
Earl Morrall is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Punter, Quarterback

29
78 37
Joe DeLamielleure is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Offensive Lineman, Guard

30
108 60
Tony Mandarich is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time

31
119 69
Brian Hoyer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Quarterback

32
77 37
Herb Adderley is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Cornerback, Return specialist

33
29 5
Bennie Fowler is listed (or ranked) 33 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!

34
52 24
Billy Joe DuPree is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
AlanNadeau added Tight end

35
29 6
Derrick Mason is listed (or ranked) 35 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.

36
64 35
Chuck Bullough is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Chuck Bullough Linebacker

37
37 14
L.J. Scott is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Timothy Hayes added L.J. Scott Running Back

38
26 6
Tico Duckett is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Tico Duckett Running Back -

Great Spartan running back!

39
23 5
Domata Peko is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
58 37
Greg Jones is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Greg Jones Linebacker

41
23 7
Gene Washington is listed (or ranked) 41 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! 

42
24 8
Mike Sadler is listed (or ranked) 42 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.....

43
18 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
17 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
18 5
Gene Washington is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
17 5
Bob Apisa is listed (or ranked) 46 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!

47
18 6
Johnny Unitas is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Jared Collins added Quarterback

48
16 5
Tyrone Willingham is listed (or ranked) 48 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.....

49
15 5
Clinton Jones is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Michigan State Football Players of All Time
Samurai Mike added Clinton Jones Running back -

Starred at RB for 2-time National Champion Spartans, including in the "Greatest Game Every Played" against Notre Dame!

50
23 13
Jalen Watts-Jackson is listed (or ranked) 50 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!