David Beedle (Outland Trophy), David Dowell (Jim Thorpe Award), Jake Hartbarger (Ray Guy Award) and Khari Willis (Wuerffel Trophy) named to preseason watch lists.
Michigan State trying to reach its sixth double-digit win season in the last eight years.
USATSI Gallery - Western Michigan @ Michigan State
USATSI Gallery - Bowling Green at Michigan State
Check out the USATSI photo gallery from the Michigan State football game against No. 2 Ohio State.
USATSI Gallery - Northwestern @ Michigan State
Sept. 17, 2016
CAREER NOTES: Fourth-year player and three-year letterwinner returns as a starting safety in 2018 . . . has 112 career tackles, nearly evenly split with 57 solo tackles and 55 assists, including 5.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks, along with six pass break-ups, two interceptions and one forced fumble in 33 career games, making 17 starts . . . ranks tied for second among active Spartans with 112 career tackles . . . member of the team’s Eagles leadership council . . . presented the Harold & Raynor Shnider Office of the Provost Award (male recipient) at the 2017 Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Excellence Gala; the honor is given to a freshman or sophomore student-athlete who embodies the characteristics promoted by SASS, with emphasis on academic performance, community involvement and leadership ability.
2017 SEASON (JUNIOR): Named honorable mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media . . . named recipient of the MSU Jim Adams Award (unsung hero: defensive player) . . . started all 13 games at boundary safety, recording a career-high 71 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss with 4.0 sacks . . . snared two interceptions to go with three pass break-ups in addition to one forced fumble . . . had six or more tackles in eight of the 13 games . . . ranked fourth on the team with 120 production points during the regular season . . . snared one oskie in the Holiday Bowl against No. 18 Washington State . . . registered a team-best three tackles at Rutgers . . . tallied two tackles, with one sack and forced fumble against Maryland . . . recorded six stops at No. 11 Ohio State . . . tied career high with 11 tackles in win over No. 7 Penn State, adding one sack and one pass break-up to finishing with season-high 25 production points, leading the defense . . . accumulated six stops with one sack at Northwestern, notching 11 production points . . . logged seven stops, including one tackle for loss against Indiana, logging 17 production points, ranking second among defensive back corps . . . tallied two tackles and snared first career interception at Minnesota, returning it 19 yards; also recovered an onside kick in the fourth quarter . . . shared team-leading and game-leading honors with a season-high 10 stops against No. 7 Michigan . . . registered six stops in Iowa game, including first career sack and added a pass break-up, finishing with 11 production points to lead the defensive backs and rank third on defense . . . logged season-high seven stops, including first career half a tackle for loss, vs. Notre Dame . . . named Spartan Defensive Player of the Week against Western Michigan after he led defensive backs and second on defense with eight stops against Western Michigan, adding one pass break-up, ending with 21 production points, leading the secondary and ranking third on the defense . . . posted three tackles in Bowling Green game.
2016 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Recorded 30 tackles and two pass break-ups in 11 games, including one start (Michigan) . . . Academic All-Big Ten selection . . . presented the Harold & Raynor Shnider Office of the Provost Award (male recipient) at the Student-Athlete Support Services Academic Excellence Gala; the honor is given to a freshman or sophomore student-athlete who embodies the characteristics promoted by SASS, with emphasis on academic performance, community involvement and leadership ability . . . ranked second on the team with six tackles on special teams . . . played more than 170 snaps at safety . . . notched three tackles, including two on special teams vs. Rutgers, earning Spartans' Co-Special Teams Player of the Week honors . . . started against No. 2 Michigan at boundary safety and logged one tackle and one pass break-up . . . registered career-high 11 tackles and one pass break-up at Maryland while playing a season-high 51 snaps . . . tallied six tackles vs. Northwestern . . . logged two tackles vs. BYU . . . posted one tackle at No. 18 Notre Dame and also registered first fumble recovery of his career, falling on a fumble on a punt in the second quarter . . . logged four tackles vs. Furman.
2015 SEASON (FRESHMAN): True freshman played in nine games, including three starts at safety (Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska) . . . broke his foot in practice prior to the Big Ten Championship Game against Iowa and missed the last two games of the season . . . had 11 tackles and one pass break-up . . . collected two stops at No. 2 Ohio State . . . had a career-high four tackles vs. Indiana . . . entered the starting lineup in Week 7 against Michigan; had three tackles against the Wolverines . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes of the game vs. Michigan . . . saw his first action in Week 4 against Central Michigan.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Rated among the nation's top safeties by Scout.com (No. 50) . . . ranked among the country's top athletes by 247Sports.com (No. 57) . . . listed among the state's top seniors by The Detroit News (No. 4), 247Sports.com (No. 9), Lansing State Journal (No. 10), Detroit Free Press (No. 14), Scout.com (No. 14) and ESPN.com (No. 17) . . . three-year starter for Coach Herb Brogan at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Michigan . . . named finalist for the 2014 Michigan High School Player of the Year by The Ann Arbor News . . . selected Division 5-6 Player of the Year by The Associated Press . . . named to The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press Dream Team . . . earned Jackson Citizen Patriot Player of the Year honors for the second-straight year . . . set Lumen Christi single-game, single-season and career rushing records as a senior . . . rushed 241 times for 2,800 yards (11.6 avg.) and 31 touchdowns in 2014 . . . recorded nine 200-yard rushing games as a senior . . . carried 51 times for a school-record 421 yards in a 27-26 loss in the regional final to eventual Division 6 state champion Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central . . . gained 270 yards on 26 attempts and scored three TDs in Division 6 district final vs. Hillsdale . . . AP Division 5-6 all-state selection after rushing for 1,262 yards and 22 TDs as a junior . . . amassed 4,432 career rushing yards . . . also lettered in basketball for the Titans . . . son of John and Mary Willis . . . born May 7, 1996 . . . political science/prelaw major.