Michigan State has had many great tight ends in the 90′s and in this early century. Another one, Dion Sims, may be on the way to crack this list as he enters his junior season in 2012.
|10||Duane Young (1987-90)||Duane Young caught 35 passes for 347 yards and one touchdown, including 12 grabs for 95 yards in the Spartans’ 1990 Big Ten Championship season. Young was a first-team All-Big Ten Selection in 1990, as voted by Big Ten Coaches. He helped Blake Ezor rush for over 1,000 yards in two seasons as well as playing a role in helping Tico Duckett gain over 1,000 yards in 1990.|
|9||Michael Cobb (1973-76)||Michael Cobb caught 32 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns during his four years as a Spartan tight end. In 1975, his 10 receptions for 151 yards helped him receive first-team All-Big Ten honors, as voted by Big Ten Coaches. Also in 1975, Cobb helped Levi Jackson rush for over 1,000 yards. His 15 grabs for 170 yards and two touchdowns in 1976 helped him become a first-team All-Big Ten Consensus Selection.|
|8||Josh Keur (1994-97)||Josh Keur caught 63 passes for 620 yards and three touchdowns as a Spartan. His 34 grabs for 355 yards and two touchdowns helped him receive second-team All-Big Ten Consensus accolades in 1997. Also in that same year, Keur was voted Big Ten Player of The Week against Northwestern in October. Keur helped pave the way for running back Marc Renaud in 1995, as Renaud gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Keur also helped Sedrick Irvin rush for over 1,000 yards in 1996 and 1997.|
|7||Ivory McCoy (1997-01)||The 6-foot-3-inch, 230 pound tight end finished his Spartan career with 49 catches for 440 yards and five touchdowns, while teaming up with fellow tight end Chris Baker in the Spartans’ double tight end set. Ivory McCoy played a key role in helping running back T.J. Duckett rush for over 1,000 yards each in 2000 and 2001.|
|6||Kellen Davis (2004-07)||Kellen Davis is one of the most physically imposing tight ends that ever played the game, but didn’t get to showcase all of his skills due to John L. Smith’s spread offense. In 2005 he caught 15 balls for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a junior in 2006, Davis recorded 12 receptions for 125 yards and 1 touchdown. When Mark Dantonio arrived as the head coach at Michigan State with his pro-style offense, Davis had a break-out senior season. The 6-foot-7-inch, 262 pound senior played tight end, defensive end, and on special teams in that 2007 season when the Spartans made their first bowl appearance since 2003. Davis had 32 catches for 513 yards and six touchdowns, along with six tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2007. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Consensus Selection and was then selected in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.|
|5||Brian Linthicum (2008-11)||After starting five games at tight end in 2007 at Clemson, Linthicum transferred to Michigan State and sat out the entire 2008 season. He contributed right away in the 2009 season as a sophomore, catching three balls for 26 yards and a touchdown in his Spartan debut against Montana State. He finished his Spartan career with 69 catches for 860 yards and three touchdowns. In Michigan State's 2011 Legends Division Championship season, Linthicum caught 31 balls for 364 yards as well as leading the way for running backs Le’Veon Bell and Edwin Baker in the pro-style offense.|
|4||Charlie Gantt (2006-10)||The 6-foot-5-inch, 260 pound tight end from Farmington Hills, Mich. was not only a great receiver downfield, but a solid run-blocker as well, helping running back Javon Ringer rush for over 1,600 yards in 2008. Gantt started 39 consecutive games for the Spartans, and will always be remembered for the touchdown catch he made in overtime against Notre Dame in 2010, a trick-play that was named "Little Giants." Gantt finished his Spartan career with 65 catches for 951 yards and nine touchdowns. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Selection in 2008 and 2009 as well as a second-team All-Big Ten pick in 2010. Gantt was also an honorable mention All-American in 2010, as voted by SI.com.|
|3||Bill Joe DuPree (1969-72)||During the 1972 season, the last for head coach Duffy Daugherty, the first-team All-American DuPree caught 23 passes for 406 yards as a senior in the Spartans’ run-oriented offense. DuPree finished his Spartan career with 69 receptions for 1,222 yards and six touchdowns. He was selected in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.|
|2||Mark Brammer (1976-69)||In the Spartans’ 1978 Big Ten Championship season under head coach Darryl Rogers, first-team All-American Brammer caught 33 passes for 360 and two touchdowns. In 1978, Brammer helped the Spartans rank at the top of the Big Ten in passing, third nationally in scoring, and third nationally in total offense. Starting every game as a sophomore, junior, and senior, Brammer finished his career with 107 receptions for 1,305 yards and five touchdowns.|
|1||Chris Baker (1998-01)||Baker and McCoy teamed up to be one of the best tight end tandems in the country during their time in East Lansing. In Baker’s four years as the starting tight end for the Spartans, he caught 133 passes for 1,705 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 38 receptions in 1999 were the second most on the team, behind wide receiver Plaxico Burress, as the Spartans finished 10-2 with a victory over Florida in the Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2000. Baker was a second team All-Big Ten Consensus Selection in 1999 and an honorable mention All-Big Ten Consensus Selection in 2000. As a senior in 2001, his 40 catches for 548 yards and four touchdowns helped him receive second-team All-Big Ten Consensus accolades.|
Are there other Spartan tight ends worthy of making the top ten list? Leave a comment.
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Best of Michigan State football series: