Following four years of commitment, determination, toughness, and leadership, Brian Allen and Chris Frey will add another bullet point to their legacy – a career in the NFL.
Let’s look at some facts that lay out the indisputable accomplishments of graduating Spartans, Brian Allen and Chris Frey.
We’ll start with Brian Allen –
- Four year letter winner that played in 51 games over four years as a Spartan.
- 2017 team captain.
- Second team All Big Ten for three straight years (2015-2017).
- Three time Academic All Big Ten honoree.
- Part of Spartan family royalty by helping to establish the Allens as deserving Bullough-esque status.
- Anchor of 2015 Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff team.
- Leader of team that achieved remarkable 2017 turnaround with 10-3 season, Holiday Bowl victory, re-establishment of Spartan program’s foundational elements.
- 3-1 record vs UMAA.
- Drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Now, the facts related to Chris Frey’s career at Michigan State –
- Four year letter winner that played in 52 games, including 25 consecutive starts.
- 193 career tackles.
- 2017 team captain.
- 2017 Holiday Bowl defensive MVP.
- 13.5 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and 5 fumble recoveries over career.
- Three-time Academic All Big Ten selection.
- Key contributor to 2015 Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff team.
- 3-1 record vs UMAA.
- Signed as a free agent by the Carolina Panthers.
Rhetorical question – Did either of these guys achieve “high star” status as high school football players?
Rhetorical question – Were either of these guys high on the recruiting priority lists of the teams that Michigan State pounded over their four years as Spartans?
Rhetorical question – Are there other Spartan players in recent memory who have embodied what it means to be a determined and focused Spartan warrior on and off the field more than either of these guys?
Rhetorical question – Who is the wonderfully creative tattoo artist that emblazoned such beautiful imagery across what appears to be the entirety of Chris Frey’s person?
When Michigan State rumbled into Columbus on the raw, rainy day that culminated with Geiger’s Windmill in November of 2015, there was a play on Ohio State’s first possession of the game that established a tone that would hold true all the way through to the moment that Geiger drilled the game winner.
Go straight to the 1:35 mark of the highlight rip directly below.
Watch how Chris Frey explodes into the gap, crushes, stands up, and levels Buckeyes field general J.T. Barrett to put an immediate stop to the Buckeyes initial possession on the day –
Chris Frey grew up in Upper Arlington, Ohio and was, for all intents and purposes, treated like a rented mule by the Ohio State football machine when it came time to assembling its recruiting class that Frey would have loved to have been a part of.
The Michigan State football machine saw in Frey a guy who would work his butt off, buy in to the entire belief system of the program, and envision himself making plays like the one he made when he stopped Barrett on that 3rd and long.
The Michigan State football machine also saw a guy who would one day get a shot at playing in the NFL.
Frey would be the first one to tell you that he wouldn’t win a 50-yard dash competition against Dom Deluise in Deluise’s prime.
But I think it’s a good bet that Frey was the first one to show up for weight room workouts, off-season workouts, early morning sprints, off-season and in-season film sessions, and whatever else these guys do in and out of the season.
I also know that when it comes to the intangible elements of Frey’s career at Michigan State, he measured off the charts and applied his maniacal fearlessness on a constant basis in order to contribute to the team’s success.
Take a look at a guy who says this about himself, “Off the field, I’m a nice guy – on the field, I’m a psycho….”
Brian Allen took a straighter route to the Michigan State football machine as he followed his older brother and legendary Spartan, Jack, to East Lansing.
When Brian arrived, he wasn’t seen by non-Spartans as a guy who was destined for greatness at Michigan State, let alone the NFL.
Allen only went on to play both guard spots and center as one of the most versatile lineman to ever wear the Green & White.
Over his 38 starts, he lined up at center 17 times, left guard 16 times, and right guard 5 times.
Allen started 28 consecutive games and shined throughout that incredible run.
During Allen’s senior season, he had 98 knockdowns and an amazing (and offensive line best) 23 “dominators.”
How about finishing his senior season as the highest rated center in the Big Ten and the 5th best in the nation by Pro Football Focus?
Also after his senior season, Allen was awarded the Biggie Munn Award for being voted by his teammates as the most inspirational player on the team.
The list of accolades, awards, and accomplishments for each of these guys goes on forever.
Expectations for individual players that choose to become a part of the Michigan State football program have escalated over the last decade.
Chris Frey and Brian Allen reached higher every day they were members of this program and they ended up accomplishing much more than most people thought they’d accomplish in their college football careers.
This weekend, each of them was able to start a whole new chapter in their lives – and that’s due to the way in which they fought, scratched, and worked their way to becoming two Spartans who’s legacies will be forever be respected.
The captains of the 2017 Spartans that turned the program right back around after a disastrous 2016 season are off to the NFL now.
They have the entire Spartan Nation thanking them for their determination and commitment – and the entire Spartan Nation pulling for them every step of the way in the years ahead.