Michigan State Football: 25 best players of the Mark Dantonio era

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 04: Trae Waynes /
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Jerel Worthy, Michigan State Spartans
EVANSTON, IL – OCTOBER 23: Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans moves past a block attempt by Brian Mulroe #72 of the Northwestern Wildcats with his sights set on Dan Persa #7 at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
  • First-Team Freshman All-American (2009)
  • Honorable mention All-Big Ten (2010)
  • Consensus First-Team All-American (2011)
  • 12th in MSU history in sacks (12)
  • 13th in MSU history in tackles for loss (27.5)

If there was one player who played for Mark Dantonio who could have done some serious damage with another season in East Lansing, it has to be Jerel Worthy.

The wide-bodied defensive tackle was arguably the most successful defensive tackle to play for Dantonio. Worthy, like many others on this list, was an overlooked recruit from the state of Ohio. He was passed over by many major programs, and that clearly made him angry and his will to dominate at the collegiate level increased.

Worthy started essentially from day one, contributing with 37 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a true freshman. He followed that up with 40 tackles, eight tackles for loss and four sacks.

As a junior, Worthy finished with a career-best 10.5 tackles for loss to go along with 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He was one of the main reasons the Spartans were able to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2012 Outback Bowl and decided to leave with one year of eligibility left.

Worthy will go down as one of the best defensive linemen in school history.