MSU’s top 50 football players: No. 14 Gene Washington

This is the 37th 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. 14 – Gene Washington

Split end, 1964-66, La Porte, Texas

The skinny: Washington was a 1960s legend whose size and speed would have fit nicely in modern times. A two-time first-team All-American, Washington broke every meaningful MSU receiving record as a critical piece in the most important and respected era of Spartan football (until the last few seasons). Washington caught 35 passes for 542 yards as a sophomore in 1964, before hauling in 44 for 719 yards as junior. More often a decoy and blocker as a senior, Washington caught 27 passes in 1966, but scored seven touchdowns and led the NCAA at 25.1 yards per catch. That mark still stands as the best ever at MSU, ahead of Andre Rison’s 24.6 yards per catch in 1988. – Read more at

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