EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State football concludes its 15 spring practices under second-year head coach Mark Dantonio with the Green-White intrasquad game on Saturday, April 19 at 1:30 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. Parking is free (in Lots T-79, A-62, S-56, P-39/40, H-63 and M-66), and the stadium gates open at 12 p.m. Admission is free.
April 19 also marks the first anniversary of the passing of former Spartan All-American George Webster. At Coach Dantonio’s request, the spring game will provide an opportunity to raise funds for the George Webster Scholarship Fund, created in February 2007 through the generosity of Jim Nelson (1960 MSU graduate from Ada, Mich.). The George Webster Scholarship Fund provides opportunities for two former student-athletes to return to Michigan State each year and complete their degrees. Five former Spartan football players are the 2007-08 scholarship recipients: Dimitry Bernard (1999-2000), Little John Flowers (1998-2001), Craig Jarrett (1998-2001), Richard Newsome (1997-2000) and Jason Randall (2001-04).
For the first time ever, fans will have an opportunity to purchase press box seats and enjoy the same view as the media that cover Spartan football. Only 100 press box seats – priced at $50 each – are on sale for the spring game. (Note: Minimum age requirement is 12 for press box admission.) All proceeds from the sale of press box seats will be contributed to the George Webster Scholarship Fund. Fans may order press box seats online at msuspartans.com.
Born Nov. 25, 1945, in Anderson, S.C., Webster earned three letters for the Spartans from 1964-66, while playing for legendary head football coach Duffy Daugherty. The two-time consensus All-American and two-time all-conference selection helped Michigan State to a combined record of 19-1-1 in 1965-66 as the Spartans won back-to-back Big Ten Conference and National Championships. At 6-foot-4, 218 pounds, he revolutionized the roverback position with his size and speed. As a senior, Webster recorded 93 tackles, including 10 for losses, as Michigan State ranked third nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 51.4 yards per game. In 1967, he became just the second former Spartan to have his jersey number (No. 90) retired. Webster was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He has been rated among the 100 Greatest Players of All-Time by CollegeFootballNews.com.
A first-round selection (No. 5 overall) by the Houston Oilers in 1967, Webster spent 10 years in the National Football League (Houston, 1967-72; Pittsburgh, 1972-73; and New England, 1974-76). He was selected the American Football League’s Rookie of the Year by United Press International after averaging more than 10 tackles per game in 1967. Webster played in three AFL All-Star Games, earning Defensive MVP honors in 1969. In 1970, he was named to the AFL’s All-Time Team (first team) by a special panel of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters.
Prior to the spring game, MSU’s coaching staff and players will conduct a free youth football clinic (no registration required). Children, ages 8-12, are invited to attend the youth clinic from 10-11:30 a.m. on the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, located at the corner of Chestnut Road and Shaw Lane. Clinic participants and their parents are requested to enter the practice fields through the gate on Shaw Lane. Over the last five years, more than 2,000 children have participated in the annual youth football clinic.
The purpose of the clinic is to introduce youngsters to the game by stressing fundamentals. No football gear is required. From 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Coach Dantonio and his players will be available for an autograph session for clinic participants. In addition, clinic participants will receive a coupon for a complimentary hot dog and soft drink to be redeemed at a concession stand in Spartan Stadium during the spring game.
Additional spring game notes:
• The Spartan Radio Network will broadcast the spring game, with a list of statewide affiliates to be published in the near future.
• An estimated crowd of 25,000 attended Michigan State’s 2007 spring football game.
• Fans are reminded that all cameras, camcorders and cell phones are strictly prohibited during the spring game.
• Fans also are reminded that the “open container” ordinance will be enforced on campus and in parking lots for the spring football game.
Weekend Sports Calendar (On-campus events scheduled for April 18-20)
Friday, April 18
Softball vs. Purdue, 4 p.m. (Old College Field)
Saturday, April 19
Youth Football Clinic, 10-11:30 a.m. (Duffy Daugherty Football Building/grass practice fields)
Softball vs. Purdue, 12 p.m. (Old College Field)
Men’s Tennis vs. Northwestern, 12 p.m. (MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts)
Baseball doubleheader vs. Michigan, 1 and 4 p.m. (Kobs Field)
Spring Football Game, 1:30 p.m. (Spartan Stadium)
Sunday, April 20
Softball doubleheader vs. Indiana, 12 p.m. (Old College Field)
Men’s Tennis vs. Wisconsin, 12 p.m. (MSU Outdoor Tennis Courts)