In the late eighties one of the most feared players in college football was Michigan State linebacker Percy Snow.
Snow, a four-year letterman and three-year starter for Coach George Perles (1986-89) helped the Spartans to a combined record of 29-16-2 including three postseason bowl appearances (1988 Rose Bowl, 1989 Gator Bowl and 1989 Aloha Bowl).
A two-time All-American and three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, Snow led the Spartans in tackles for three consecutive seasons from 1987-89 and earned Rose Bowl MVP honors with a 17 tackle performance in the Spartans 20-17 victory over No. 16 USC a victory Snow still remembers fondly.
"This is the highest individual honor, but it certainly isn't something I could have accomplished alone," Snow said. "This is the result of teamwork. My teammates and coaches all played a vital role. I'm both humble and grateful for this recognition, and I accept this honor on behalf of Michigan State University.
"There's no other place like Michigan State. When I talked to other guys I played with (in the pros), some of them didn't talk about their universities. In fact, some had never returned to campus after they left. But when I come here, every time I come back to the university, I see a glow. It lights up, it starts all over again for me.
"After we won and came home, and we were greeted at the airport, with the fans and support, I think that right there was it for me," Snow said. "That was the benchmark acceptance. When we stepped off that plane and I was holding that Rose Bowl MVP trophy up in the air, that was the fondest moment for me."
Snow’s former coach George Perles gave nothing but praise on the former Butkus and Lombardi Award winner.
"Percy Snow is certainly deserving of this honor," Perles said. "Offenses simply dreaded playing against him because he didn't just make the tackle; he damaged people. Percy was the hardest-hitting kid that played at Michigan State in many, many years. He was the nucleus of those great defensive units in the late 1980s."
The Canton, Ohio, native left a lasting mark at MSU and is still second on MSU’s all-time career tackles list with 473.
Following his career as a Spartan, Snow was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round (No. 13 overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft. Earning All-Rookie honors, Snow started 14-of-15 games for the Chiefs and was credited with 69 tackles, including two sacks, an interception and 11 quarterback pressures. Snow finished his career with the Chicago Bears.
Snow becomes the seventh former Michigan State player to be selected for the College Football Hall of Fame and will be added to the Spartan Stadium’s “Ring of Fame” at the Nov. 2 game against Michigan.