Michigan State football isn’t known for offensive prowess. Because of this, when these receivers came along, they were overlooked at the next level.
Michigan State won’t be calling itself ‘Wide Receiver U’ anytime soon — that honor can stay with Alabama, Clemson or USC. But any strong college football program is bound to churn out some good NFL prospects at every position, and the green and white are no exception.
Over the past couple of decades, there have been a few notable receivers out of East Lansing, including two players who won the Big Ten Receiver of the Year award since it was created in 2011. Tony Lippett was the first, winning the award in 2014, swiftly followed by his counterpart Aaron Burbridge, who won the award in 2015.
Now, despite the strong careers that they put together in college, neither of these players have played a single snap at receiver in the NFL since 2016. In fact, no Spartan receiver has found much success in the NFL since the Charles Rogers curse, which I have just made up.
It’s never been an issue of skill, all of these guys were clearly talented enough to get time in the league. It’s been an issue of opportunity. All of these guys share one thing: they never really got a proper shot on an NFL roster. For many, injuries plagued them. For some, it was coaching changes.
Here are four Spartans who were overlooked at the next level.