It's an 80s party on this edition of the favorite Spartan athlete bracket, as two Spartan athletes from an era where the only thing bigger than the hair was the shoulder pads your mother was wearing (zing!). I apologize as that statement is not entirely accurate; Courtney Hawkins played in the '90s as well. ANYWAY, here's a bit about the two gridders involved in this matchup.
(WARNING: AUDIO IS NSFW.)
I'll admit to having no memory of Courtney Hawkins until the start of this bracket. That's a shame, because he had a great college career, a good pro career, and found a great calling after the NFL. Hawkins came to East Lansing by way of Flint, and had an outstanding four years -- he finished with 2,210 receiving yards (4th all time at MSU) and 138 receptions (also fourth). He could have climbed higher up the ranks if injuries not limited him in 1990, but his 1989 season is one of the finest wide receiver season a Spartan ever had: 60 receptions for 1,080 yards and six touchdowns. In 1992 he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and went on to play nine years in the NFL, spending the first five in Tampa Bay and the last four in Pittsburgh. His final NFL stats were 366 receptions for 4,573 yards and 18 touchdowns.
After the NFL he eventually found his way back home to Flint, where he's currently the head football coach and athletic director for Beecher high school. He's not the only Spartan coaching in Flint, as Andre Rison currently coaches Northwestern High School. The above detail is a good listen if you've got ten minutes or so to spare, and details the difference Hawkins is making in Flint.
Sorry, no video for Percy Snow. There was a video of him in a 10-7 loss against Michigan, but there's no way I'm linking to that. You'll just have to marvel over one of the best Spartan careers in print form, and boy is it a doozy. His 473 tackles ranks second all time next to Dan Bass's 541. His number of tackles his junior and senior year (164 and 172) are tied for third and second respectively for Spartan tackles in a season (Chuck Bullough tied his 164 in 1990 and had 175 in 1991. Don't let anyone tell you the spread hasn't fully caught on -- linebackers don't make as many tackles as they once did). He was named Rose Bowl MVP after notching 17 tackles (15 unassisted) against USC in 1988.
That's to say nothing of the individual awards he won his senior year. He's one of only two players to win both the Butkus award for the top college linebacker, and the Lombardi award for the top college linebacker or lineman. He was eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year. He was chosen with the 13th overall pick in the 1990 NFL draft, and after a good rookie season shredded his knee in A MOPED ACCIDENT. Let this be a lesson to current and future athletes -- STAY AWAY FROM MOPEDS LIKE THE PLAGUE OR OTHER APPLICABLE CLICHE. And fans, don't get too huffy when you see an athlete in a Ferrari, Porsche, or <insert sportscar here>. At least it's not a moped.
So what say you?