Nicholson becomes the highest Spartan safety drafted since 2006.
Drafted or undrafted, Spartans under head coach Mark Dantonio have a long track record of success at the next level.
Nineteen former players from the 2016 team audition in front of NFL coaches and scouts at the Duffy Daugherty Building.
Linebacker Riley Bullough, defensive lineman Malik McDowell and safety Montae Nicholson will participate in the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, scheduled for Feb. 28-March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes his team's resilience. Now it's time to develop a knockout punch. Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes and Nick Hill ran for two scores Saturday, but No. 8 Michigan State still needed a late interception return for a touchdown to hold on 45-31 at Purdue
Check out the USATSI photo gallery from the Michigan State football game against No. 2 Ohio State.
Sept. 17, 2016
Check out the photo gallery from the Michigan State football game against Ohio State.
USATSI Photos of Michigan State Football vs. Maryland
Michigan State defeats Oregon in the Spartans home opener, 31-28.
CAREER NOTES: Three-year letterwinner recorded 200 tackles (109 solo, 91 assists), four interceptions (70 return yards), four pass break-ups, 4.5 tackles for loss (8 yards), three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 38 career games, including 23 starts.
2016 SEASON (JUNIOR): Played in 11 games, including 10 starts at safety . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten selection (coaches and media) . . . recipient of MSU's Outstanding Underclass Back Award for defense . . . finished second on the team with a career-high 86 tackles, which ranked second among Big Ten defensive backs and 16th overall in the conference (7.8 avg.) . . . led team in production points throughout the entire season . . . had four double-digit tackle outings led by career-best 17 stops vs. BYU, the most by a Spartan since Eric Smith had 19 against Notre Dame on Sept. 18, 2004 . . . shared team-high honors with eight stops at No. 8 Penn State . . . logged a game-high 13 tackles vs. No. 2 Ohio State . . . after missing the game at Illinois with an injury, returned to action and starting lineup vs. Rutgers, snaring first interception of season to go with posting four tackles; earned Spartans' Defensive Player of the Week accolades . . . notched four tackles against No. 2 Michigan . . . tallied three tackles at Maryland . . . logged game-best 13 tackles vs. Northwestern for his second straight game with double-digit tackles; led defense in production points for third game in a row with season-high 27 . . . registered career-best 17 tackles against BYU, the most by a Spartan since Sept. 18, 2004 when Eric Smith tallied 19 vs. Notre Dame, also tying career high with one tackle for loss . . . led entire defense with 25 production points against the Cougars . . . registered defensive-high 21 production points at Indiana, notching five tackles . . . was second among both defensive backs and overall defense with 26 production points in Wisconsin game, ranking second on team with 10 tackles . . . logged three tackles and one fumble recovery at No. 18 Notre Dame; finished with 19 production points, tops among the defensive backs and second on the defense . . . recorded six tackles with two pass break-ups vs. Furman, earning Spartan Defensive Attack Force Player of the Week honors after posting 16 production points to tie for top production points by a defensive back.
2015 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Ranked third on the team with 83 tackles, including 2.5 for losses, in 14 games of action . . . started 10 games at safety (Western Michigan, Oregon, Air Force, Central Michigan, Rutgers, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Alabama) . . . after returning to starting lineup in Week 10 vs. Maryland, led team with 40 tackles over the last five games . . . tied for team lead with three interceptions (60 return yards) . . . ranked 10th on the team with 58 production points during the regular season . . . posted seven solo stops vs. No. 2 Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinal . . . tallied seven tackles vs. No. 4 Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game . . . tied his season high with nine tackles, including a 3-yard loss, and also forced a fumble and broke up a pass vs. Penn State . . . led the Spartan secondary with 18 production points and had a team-high eight stops in the win at No. 2 Ohio State; named one of three Spartan unsung heroes against the Buckeyes . . . returned to the starting lineup in Week 10 vs. Maryland and compiled 17 production points; picked off a pass and returned it 30 yards, and recorded a season-high nine tackles against the Terrapins . . . named one of three Spartan unsung heroes of the game vs. Maryland . . . credited with six tackles at Nebraska and tipped a pass that led to a Demetrious Cox interception in the second quarter; collected 13 production points against the Huskers . . . had five stops vs. Indiana . . . credited with five solo tackles at Rutgers . . . posted six tackles vs. Air Force . . . picked off a Vernon Adams pass and returned it 30 yards in the win over No. 7 Oregon; also registered five tackles against the Ducks . . . posted seven tackles, including a 2-yard loss, and recorded his first career interception in the season opener at Western Michigan . . . also competed on the indoor track and field team in the spring of 2015; placed sixth in the long jump at the 2015 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships with a leap of 7.23 meters (23-8 3/4).
2014 SEASON (FRESHMAN): Played in all 13 games, including three starts (Nebraska, Purdue, Indiana) . . . one of four true freshmen to letter for the Spartans in 2014 . . . led first-year players with 31 tackles (18 solo, 13 assists) on the season . . . led team with 10 tackles on special teams (team-best nine on kickoffs) . . . named to ESPN.com and BTN.com Big Ten All-Freshman Teams . . . posted three stops at Penn State . . . had three tackles against Rutgers . . . recovered a fumble on a kickoff return and also had one tackle vs. No. 14 Ohio State . . . posted five stops in his second career start at Purdue and was named Spartan Special Teams Player of the Week . . . in his first career start, recorded a season-high seven tackles in the victory over No. 19 Nebraska . . . posted two stops vs. Wyoming . . . led the team with five tackles and also had a fumble recovery in the win over Eastern Michigan . . . made his collegiate debut in the season opener against Jacksonville State; recorded a solo tackle on the initial kickoff of the game on his first career play.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Named Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Male Athlete of the Year . . . invited to participate in 2014 Big 33 Football Classic (June 14 vs. Maryland in Hershey, Pennsylvania) . . . played in 2013 Chesapeake Bowl (Virginia Beach, Virginia) and 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl (San Antonio, Texas) . . . rated among the nation's top seniors by PrepStar (No. 94), Scout.com (No. 132), Rivals.com (No. 135), CollegeFootballNews.com (No. 179) and ESPN.com (No. 244) . . . listed among the East's top prospects by ESPN.com (No. 22) . . . ranked among the country's top safeties by PrepStar (No. 2), Rivals.com (No. 13), CFN (No. 14), 247Sports (No. 17) and Scout.com (No. 20) . . . rated among the nation's top athletes by ESPN.com (No. 30) . . . PrepStar All-American . . . named the top recruit in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com and on the Detroit Free Press Best of the Midwest list . . . also listed among the top seniors in Pennsylvania by ESPN.com (No. 4) and 247Sports (No. 4) . . . two-time Class AAAA all-state selection as a defensive back by the Pennsylvania Football Writers . . . first-team all-state selection by The Associated Press in 2013 . . . two-time member of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 . . . named to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 as a senior . . . three-time first-team All-Foothills Conference selection . . . three-year starter for Coach Donnie Militzer for Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pennsylvania . . . recorded 72 tackles, including five for losses, and three interceptions in 2013 . . . credited with four fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and scored two defensive touchdowns as a senior . . . had 41 receptions for a school-record 810 yards (19.8 avg.) and 11 TDs in 2013 . . . caught six passes for a school-record 253 yards and three TDs vs. Penn-Trafford as a senior . . . accounted for 15 total TDs in 2013, returning two kickoffs for scores including a 98-yard runback . . . scored TDs in three different ways vs. Kiski Area as a senior (reception, kickoff return and interception return) . . . posted 36 tackles, an interception and three defensive TDs as a junior . . . had 25 catches for 653 yards (26.1 avg.) and seven TDs in 2012 . . . had three 100-yard receiving games as a junior, including six receptions for a season-high 204 yards and a TD vs. Altoona . . . his career totals include 123 tackles and four interceptions . . . had 66 career receptions for 1,463 yards (22.2 avg.) and 18 TDs . . . scored 24 career TDs . . . also lettered in basketball and track for the Gators . . . won three state titles in track his senior year in 2014 (60-meter indoor in winter; 110 hurdles and 400-meter relay in spring) . . . also placed fourth in the long jump at the state championships after winning the event at the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) meet . . . school-record holder in 110 hurdles . . . won 2013 WPIAL title and finished second in Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) in the 110-meter hurdles . . . son of Jackie Crawford . . . born Dec. 4, 1995 . . . sociology major.
NICHOLSON'S CAREER STATS
INTERCEPTIONS G No Yds TD Lg Avg/R Avg/G 2014................ 13 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2015................ 14 3 60 0 30 20.0 4.3 2016................ 11 1 10 0 10 10.0 0.9 TOTAL............... 38 4 70 0 30 17.5 1.8
ALL PURPOSE G Rush Rec PR KR IR Total Avg/G 2014................ 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 2015................ 14 0 0 0 17 60 77 5.5 2016................ 11 0 0 0 0 10 10 0.9 TOTAL............... 38 0 0 0 17 70 87 2.3
TACKLES G UA A Total TFL-Yds PD FF FR Blkd 2014................ 13 18 13 31 0.0-0 0 0 2 0 2015................ 14 52 31 83 2.5-6 5 1 0 0 2016................ 11 39 47 86 2.0-2 3 0 1 0 TOTAL............... 38 109 91 200 4.5-8 8 1 3 0