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

EAST LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 04: Trae Waynes /
7 of 25
Denicos Allen, Michigan State Spartans
EAST LANSING, MI – NOVEMBER 02: Denicos Allen #28 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates a third-quarter sack against the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium on November 2, 2013 in East Lansing, Michigan. Michigan State won the game 29-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
  • Ranked third in MSU history in tackles for loss (46)
  • Ranked sixth in MSU history in sacks (19.5)
  • Three-time All-Big Ten selection

There was a time when experts believed Denicos Allen was the best linebacker the Big Ten had to offer. He was even listed as a preseason All-American, but failed to truly have that monster season of which he was capable.

Still, he finished with 278 career tackles, which places him on the all-time list, as well 46 tackles for loss, which is third in school history. He also has the sixth-most sacks in Michigan State history with 19.5 and was one of the best blitzing linebackers Pat Narduzzi ever got a chance to work with.

Allen finished with no less than 79 tackles from his sophomore through senior seasons as he was one of the best outside linebackers in the conference, earning All-Big Ten honors three straight times.

A major reason Michigan State’s defense was able to make a name for itself was Allen’s emergence. He stepped up when Max Bullough was out during the Rose Bowl and led the Spartans to a 13-win season in 2013.

Also, who could ever forget his soaring sack against Ohio State?