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Michigan State News & Notes: Antjuan Simmons on Bednarik Watchlist, MSU Day on BTN and more

Working from home still? Put the television on mute and watch MSU coverage all day in the background.

Maryland v Michigan State Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Watch list season remains intact for the time being, and the Michigan State Spartans received the news this morning that senior linebacker Antjuan Simmons has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch List. The annual award is given to the defensive player of the year, and is named after Chuck Bednarik. The first to earn it was Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats, who is one of only two players to win it twice, in 1995 and 1996. Charles Woodson won it in 1997, Paul Posluszny in 2005 and 2006, then Dan Connor in 2007 for a three-peat for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Chase Young was the most recent B1G player to earn the award, that coming just last season.

This comes in addition to Simmons being named earlier last month to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. The Lott IMPACT Trophy was named in honor of Ronnie Lott, a two-time All-American for USC and College Football Hall of Fame Inductee. The Lott IMPACT Trophy has raised more than $1.6 million for scholarships and other youth-related charities throughout the country. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Zero Positive COVID-19 Test Results

Per MLive reporter Matt Wenzel, Michigan State has had zero new athletes test positive for COVID-19 after the latest round of testing. This news comes as fellow B1G programs the Ohio State Buckeyes last week, and the Maryland Terrapins over the weekend announced pauses to on-campus activities including voluntary workouts due to the number of positive tests.

On the hoops side, Coach Tom Izzo is part of the launch of the new McLendon Foundation Minority Leadership Initiative. It aims to help provide access and opportunity to deserving minority candidates. Among other coaches such as John Calipari that are involved, many Spartan fans will remember Tommy Amaker as well.

University of Kentucky Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari, along with Harvard Head Coach Tommy Amaker, 35 other collegiate head coaches and the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation (“McLendon Foundation”) today announced a partnership to help launch the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative (“Minority Leadership Initiative,” or “MLI”). This coach-driven initiative will provide minorities a jump-start to their careers through practical experiences, opportunities to build their network, and instilling the values of John McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership, and Mentorship. Participants in the initiative will be known as MLI Future Leaders.

If you’ve been missing campus of late, then you will enjoy the virtual visit walk-through put out by the football Twitter account last week.

Finally, the Big Ten Network is in the midst of their “School Days” schedule, and today is “Michigan State Day.” All throughout today and tonight until 6 a.m. Eastern tomorrow morning is MSU programming. Among the coverage includes MSU’s road-win over Purdue in 1997, the 2000 blowout win over Michigan at the Breslin Center, the 2012 win at Camp Randall, the 1988 Rose Bowl, and the 2019 Big Ten Tournament Championship game just to name a few.

Feel free to treat the comments like a game thread for any of the coverage throughout today as well.

Go Green!