Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/29/12
RankPlayerBio 10Ronald Goovert (1963-65)
In 1965, Goovert was a first-team All-American as a senior. He went under the radar at Michigan State, playing alongside Bubba Smith, Charlie Thornhill, and George Webster. Still, head coach Duffy Daugherty said he was "without a doubt the finest linebacker in the Big Ten." After leaving Michigan State, Goovert spent two seasons on the Detroit Lions roster. 9Eric Gordon (2006-2010)

Eric Gordon was not recognized enough at Michigan State, due to the fact that the man lined up next to him for all four seasons was Greg Jones. Still, Gordon was able to record 29 tackles for loss, 331 tackles, and 9.5 sacks in his Spartan career. He started 49 of 51 games at Michigan State, which is the most in school history. In 2010, CollegeFootballNews.com voted Gordon to the All-Big Ten First-Team. 8Dan Bass (1976-79)
Bass led the Spartans in tackles every season during his four years at Michigan State. In 1978, Bass was a second-team All-Big Ten Coaches Selection while recording 136 tackles. As a senior in 1979, Bass recorded 160 tackles and was a first-team All-Big Ten Consensus Selection. 7Chuck Bullough (1987-91)
In 1990, Chuck Bullough was a second-team All-Big Ten Selection voted by the media leading the Spartans with 164 tackles. The following year, Bullough recorded 175 tackles, as the media voted him a first-team All-Big Ten linebacker. 6Charlie Thornhill (1964-66)
After beginning his career as a fullback for Michigan State, he was moved to linebacker about midway through the 1964 season. In 1965 and 1966, Thornhill played a key role in back-to-back Big Ten and National Championship seasons. Thornhill helped the Spartans lead the nation in rushing defense and scoring defense in 1965, as well as unofficially recording 55 tackles in one game. In 1966, Thornhill led the team with 102 tackles and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Thornhill was selected in the ninth round of the 1967 NFL Draft by the Boston Patriots. He passed away in December of 2006. His two sons, Josh (1998-2001) and Caleb (2003-2007) are former Spartan linebackers as well. 5Carl Banks (1980-83)
In 1983, Carl Banks earned first-team All-America honors as he recorded 86 tackles. He was named college football’s linebacker of the year by the Columbus Touchdown Club. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten Selection, Banks was Michigan State’s first non-kicker to be named to the all-league team more than twice. Banks recorded 24 tackles for loss and 14 sacks during his Spartan career, and he led the 1981 team with 97 tackles. He was selected third overall in 1984 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. 4Julian Peterson (1998-00)
Peterson recorded 30 tackles for loss, including 15 sacks, in 1999, and earned first-team All-America honors. He was one of 15 semifinalists for Defensive Player of the Year by the Football News in 1999 and also was the Defensive MVP in the 2000 Citrus Bowl. In just two seasons as a Spartan, Peterson set a Spartan career record with 48 tackles for loss and his 25 career sacks rank second on MSU’s all-time list. The San Francisco 49ers selected Peterson in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft. 3Greg Jones (2007-10)
Greg Jones led the Spartans in tackles all four years, becoming only the second player in school history to do so since Dan Bass. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2009 and 2010. While starting 46 of 52 career games, Jones recorded double-digit tackles in 20 different games. He ranks second all-time in Spartan history in tackles for loss with 46.5 and third in total tackles with 465. He is also tied for sixth in school history with 16.5 sacks. On top of all the stats and accolades, Jones helped the 2010 Spartans win their first Big Ten title in 20 years. Jones was selected in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. 2Percy Snow (1986-89)
Snow was a two-time All-American in 1988 and 1989, capturing the Butkus and Lombardi awards and leading the Big Ten with 172 tackles in ’89. During his senior year, Snow recorded double-digit tackles in 11 contests, including 23 versus Illinois. Snow finished his Spartan career with 473 career tackles. Snow was selected 13th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1990 NFL Draft. 1George Webster (1964-66)
A two-time All-American, Webster helped the Spartans to a No. 1 ranking in the Big Ten in total defense in 1965 and 1966. His 93 tackles, including 10 for losses, helped the Spartans rank third nationally in rushing defense in 1966. He became the second Spartan to have his jersey retired and was picked by the Houston Oilers in first round of the 1967 NFL Draft. Take Our Poll
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