(Bumped. Hurrah for news not related to uniforms! - Pete)
(KJ edit: Was thinking/wondering about this while I was sitting in the stadium on Saturday. Who else, if anyone, deserves to be added to the ring? Any players from the 80s/90s/00s?)
Via Hondo we see that MSU will add two new names to the west side of Spartan Stadium, Brad Van Pelt and John Pingel.
Mark Hollis is quoted on both guys.
"During their respective playing careers, both Brad Van Pelt and John Pingel were bigger than life sports figures, and it is only fitting to honor them by adding their names to the ‘Ring of Fame,’” Hollis said. “Van Pelt has been labeled the modern day Jim Thorpe by his teammate Joe DeLamielleure, while Pingel has been described as the Doak Walker of his era. As members of the College Football Hall of Fame, they truly rank among the greatest players in Spartan history."
Unfortunately, Van Pelt died last year and Pingel in 1999.
Reading the Hondo piece, Pingel still holds the NCAA record for punt yards in a season and was a good runner and passer in the 1930s in MS(C)U's first blush of football success under Coach Charlie Bachman.
Born Nov. 6, 1916, in Mount Clemens, Mich., Pingel appeared in 28 consecutive games from 1936-38 for Coach Charlie Bachman and helped the Spartans to a combined record of 20-6-2 (.750), including the school’s first-ever postseason bowl appearance. His likeness is preserved in one of the sandstone panels above the main entrance to Jenison Field House.
Van Pelt, for those like me who are too young to remember his career, played in the late 60s as a DB (and played baseball and basketball, hence the Thorpe thing) and had a long NFL career with the Giants.
Born April 5, 1951, in Owosso, Mich., Van Pelt became a three-year starter for Coach Duffy Daugherty and earned first-team All-America honors as both a junior and senior. As a sophomore in 1970, he had 80 tackles (42 solos, 38 assists) and a career-high six interceptions. As a junior, Van Pelt recorded 92 stops (51-41) and picked off four passes. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns against Oregon State in 1971, with returns covering 40 and 47 yards. As a senior, the 6-foot-5, 221-pound safety produced 84 tackles (42-42) and four interceptions. In 1972, he became the first defensive back ever to receive the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top collegiate player.
The ring currently contains Don Coleman, Bubba Smith, George Webster and fmr. president John Hannah. There's apparently a movement among former players to try and get Van Pelt's number 10 retired, along with the above gentlemen. This neat old blog post explains all the retired numbers for every Big 10 team.