Coming back to Michigan State for his senior season worked out pretty well for linebacker Greg Jones. The Spartans won 11 games, a share of the Big Ten championship, and will play Alabama in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day. But Jones also won a more personal honor on Tuesday, being named First-Team All-American by the Associated Press.â†µ
Jones earned first-team honors last season, as well, making him the only repeat winner on this year's squad. He's also the first Michigan State football player to be named to the All-American first team since defensive back George Webster did so in 1965 and 1966.
"This is a tremendous honor for Greg Jones," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "He made a statement and validated our football program when he elected to pass on the NFL Draft and return to Michigan State for his senior year. Greg was driven to become a champion. He believed in this program, and over the last four years, he has helped shape and change the culture here. This only reinforces the fact that dreams can come true."â†µ
For the season, Jones led the Spartans in tackles (98), forced fumbles (three), quarterback hurries (six), and was second on the team with tackles for loss (eight for 18 yards).â†µ
Other Big Ten players on the All-American first team include Wisconsin offensive linemen Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt and Purdue defensive tackle Ryan Kerrigan. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson was named to the third team, but as an all-purpose player, not a quarterback.â†µ
You can see a complete list of the All-American teams here.