As a two-time all-conference selection, Bullough set a single-season school record for tackles in 1991 with 175 stops (he also is No. 3 all-time with 164 tackles in 1990). He won two Big Ten championships and three bowl games including the 1987 Rose Bowl championship. The long line of Bullough started with Chuck’s father, Henry, who played and coached at Michigan State. Henry, also known as the “Doctor of Defense,” coached for 23 years in the NFL. Chuck’s nephew, Max, will have a breakout sophomore season for the 2011 Spartans. His 391 tackles were fifth best in school history.
Over his four-year career, Cousins improved his yardage, touchdown and completion totals every year. He never threw more than 10 interceptions in a season and his 66 career touchdowns ranks first all-time in Spartans’ history. Michigan State has posted five total 10-win seasons in program history and Cousins claims two of those. In fact, the only two teams in Sparty history to reach 11 wins were quarterbacked by the Holland, Mich., native. His 9,131 career yards, 723 career completions, 9,004 yards of total offense, 146.1 passer rating and 26 200-yard games are all Michigan State school records. His career 64.1% completion mark ranks sixth all-time in Big Ten history. He also holds the school record for wins with a 27-12 starting mark.
A first-team All-American, Adams checked in at 6’7” and 330 pounds as a collgiate athlete. As a semi-finalist for the Outland Trophy and the Lombardi Award, Adams allowed only two sacks and registered 37 pancake blocks during his 1997 season. He earned Big Ten Lineman of the Year honors and was selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.
After 39.5 sacks in two seasons as an All-American at Valley Forge C.C., Peterson, the Seaboard Conference Player of the Year, signed with Michigan State. Despite only playing for two seasons, Peterson has his name all over the Spartans record book. The dynamic hybrid end/backer set the school record for career tackles for a loss with 48 – due is most part to his single-season record of 30 in 1999 in which he obliterated his own record of 18. That same season Peterson posted 15 sacks, good for second best in Spartan history. His 25 career sacks rank second all time to Larry Bethea. He finished with 140 tackles.
In only two seasons in East Lansing, Rogers finished fourth all-time with 135 receptions and became only the second player to post back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving efforts (Plaxico Burress). The consensus All-American was the best receiver in the nation in 2002, claiming the Fred Biletnikoff Award. He set Spartan single-season record with 68 catches, finishing second to only himself with 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns. He set both marks in 2001 with 14 TDs and 1,470 yards. He broke Randy Moss’ NCAA record by catching a TD pass in 13 straight games. He set MSU’s single game yards mark with 270 against Fresno State in 2001. He topped MLB star Kirk Gibson (24) with 27 career TDs. Rogers was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft.
“Bad Moon” Rison left school as Michigan State’s all-time leading receiver with 146 catches. He is still the all-time leader with 2,992 career receiving yards. He also set a single-game school high of 252 yards against Georgia. His 20 career touchdown receptions rank third in school history. Rison is one of few players to have won a championship in the both the Super Bowl (Green Bay, 1996) and the Grey Cup (Toronto, 2004).
Snow finished his sterling MSU career with 473 tackles, good for second all-time to Dan Bass. The three-year starter became the first player in NCAA history to win the Butkus and Lombardi awards in the same season (only one player has done it since then, Marvin Jones, Florida State). The two-time All-American and three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, Snow set the Michigan State single-season tackle mark two years in a row with 164 in 1988 and then 172 in 1989. As the leader of the “Gang Green” defense, Snow pushed the Spartans to the Big Ten Championship and 1988 Rose Bowl title over USC – claiming the Rose Bowl MVP trophy. Snow was the 13th overall pick in the 1990 draft.
One needs to only look at the 1988 Heisman Trophy ballots to realize just how dominant Mandarich was on the college gridiron. He finished sixth in the Heisman voting after his second straight All-American season in East Lansing despite playing in only eight games. In the face of a short NCAA suspension, Mandarich was an Outland Finalist after helping Michigan State rush for nearly 270 yards per game in the final eight contests. The 6’6” 315 pounder did not allow a sack and recorded 50 pancake blocks as a senior. He was the second overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft – taken one slot before Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders.
As a sophomore, White became the first Big Ten running back to top the 2,000 yard mark with 2,066. He finished fourth in the Heisman voting that season and earned All-American honors. He was also the first Spartan to ever lead the nation in rushing at 173.5 yards per game. White also finished fourth in the Heisman balloting two years later, earning consensus All-American honors in 1987. He helped MSU to its first Rose Bowl in over 20 years. White is currently the school’s all-time leading rusher (4,887), all-time leader in attempts (1,082) and career TDs (43). He also has the top two single-season rushing totals and the top two single-season attempts – carrying the ball 419 times in 1985 and 357 times in 1987. White has the record for most attempts in a game with 56 rushes (he actually claims five of the top seven single-game performances).
One of the biggest defensive backs to ever play the game, the 6’5” 230 pound defensive back was a two-time All-American in 1971 and 1972 (consensus). The big hitter became the first defensive back in NCAA history to win the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player. He was also given the Chevy Defensive Player of the Year by the Columbus Touchdown Club. He was 13th in the Heisman voting in 1972. Van Pelt finished his career with 256 tackles and 14 interceptions – good for fourth all-time in school history for passes picked off. Van Pelt earned seven varsity letters, playing on both the basketball and baseball teams as well. Playing 14 seasons in the NFL, the five-time Pro Bowler was selected in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft.
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