MSU’s top 50 football players: No. 16 Kirk Gibson

This is the 35th in a 50-day summer series counting down the top players in Michigan State football history, as I see them. As with last year’s MSU basketball top 50, the criteria is performance and impact at MSU only, professional career irrelevant. Have your own opinion? Leave a comment or tweet at me @Graham_Couch.

No. 16 – Kirk Gibson

Wide receiver, 1975-78, Waterford, MI

The skinny: Gibson is best known for his illustrious career in baseball. But that was his choice. Had he wanted a pro football life instead, he might be just as well known for that. Gibson was a thoroughbred, a blistering wideout with the size and thump you remember from baseball. An All-American in 1978, Gibson caught 42 passes for a school-record 806 yards. His MSU single-season receiving yards record stood until Andre Rison broke it in 1986. He also led the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards in conference games, helping the Spartans and their prolific late-1970s passing attack to a share of the ’78 Big Ten title. – Read more at

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