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Michigan State’s top 10 linebackers of all time

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Percy Snow, 1986-89

Michigan State’s second-leading tackler (473) was the MVP of the Rose Bowl as a sophomore with 17 tackles against USC, and went on to earn All-America status as a junior and senior and won the Butkus and Lombardi awards as a senior. He was a first-round pick of the Chiefs in 1990 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

MSU linebacker Percy Snow won the Butkus (top linebacker) and Lombardi (top lineman) awards as a senior in 1989.

George Webster, 1964-66

He played all over for the Spartans in what was called a rover by moving from safety to linebacker and to the line. Webster was a two-time All-American and played 10 seasons in the AFL-NFL. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Carl Banks, 1980-83

The three-time all-Big Ten player was also an All-American as a senior in 1983. And despite playing for some bad Michigan State teams, Banks was selected No. 3 overall in the 1984 NFL draft by the Giants. He played 12 seasons in the NFL and won two Super Bowls.

Greg Jones, 2007-10

Jones led the Spartans in tackles four straight seasons and ranks third on Michigan State’s career list with 465. A two-time All-American, Jones had a Big Ten-leading 154 tackles in 2009 and was named the conference’s defensive player of the year. He went on to win a Super Bowl with the Giants.

LB Riley Bullough puts jolt into family’s MSU legacy

Dan Bass, 1976-79

The Michigan State record book has Bass’ name all over it — No. 1 in career tackles (541) and tackles in a single game (32), which came against Ohio State in 1979. He also had 24 stops that year against Notre Dame, the third-most in school history. He led Michigan State in tackles four straight seasons and played 12 years in the CFL, being inducted into that league’s Hall of Fame in 2000.

Julian Peterson, 1998-99

An All-American in 1999, Peterson managed to stake his claim at Michigan State in two seasons. His 48 career tackles for loss still stands as the most in Spartans history, as are his 30 tackles for loss in 1999. He had 18 in 1998, tied for fourth, while also holding the top two spots for tackles for loss in a game with seven against Ohio State in 1998 and six against Oregon in 1999. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL.

Chuck Bullough, 1988-91

The two-time all-Big Ten selection was named second-team All-American as a senior in 1991, and his 175 tackles that season are still the most in Michigan State history. He is sixth in career tackles with 391. He playd five seasons in the NFL before getting into coaching. He is entering his first season as defensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan.

Ike Reese, 1994-97

The fourth-leading tackler in Michigan State history at 420, Reese played during the transition from George Perles to Nick Saban. He earned first-team all-Big Ten honors as a senior in 1997 and played in the NFL nine seasons, making the Pro Bowl in 2004.

Max Bullough, 2010-13

The emotional leader of the Spartans during his tenure, Bullough was a third-team All-American as a senior in 2013 as Michigan state won the Big Ten and reached the Rose Bowl. He was twice a first-team all-Big Ten selection and his 299 career tackles ranks 18th in school history. He now plays for the Texans.

Denicos Allen, 2010-13

Allen forever will be remembered for his stop of Ohio State’s Braxton Miller on fourth down in the Big Ten championship game. But his career production was just as impressive. He ranks third in career tackles for loss with 46, and his 18.5 in 2011 are No. 2. As a senior, Allen earned third-team All-American honors.