Lorenzo White To Enter College Football Hall of Fame - And It's About Time...

Lorenzo White To Enter College Football Hall of Fame - And It's About Time...

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Lorenzo White To Enter College Football Hall of Fame - And It's About Time...

Michigan State legend Lorenzo White will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame this year. It’s about time he’s inducted into a club we all know he’s belonged to ever since he carried the ball for the Green & White like nobody ever did before him and nobody has ever since.

Contact @crowleysullivan

Michael Geiger had just converted a 31-yard field goal to tie the 100th Rose Bowl at 17 early in the third quarter – and I had not moved from my seat in the Rose Bowl since well before the game had started.

Nature was calling to such an extent that an “accident” was threatening to become a reality.

So, I jumped over the Spartans I was surrounded by in the grand old bowl in Pasadena and raced to the men’s room to assure that I’d be back in my seat in time to see how the Spartan defense would deal with Stanford’s response to the scoring drive just executed by the Green & White.

As I stood at the urinal, I noticed that there was a man directly next to me who had a presence about him.

I ignored the unwritten rule that says a man does not look over at the man next to him while standing at a urinal.

There he was – Lorenzo White relieving himself right next to me.

I then ignored all social norms and mores and immediately started talking with him about the greatness of Michigan State University.

Not only did Lorenzo White collaborate with me in the ignoring of unwritten stadium men’s room rules, he engaged in a conversation with me that continued as we exited the men’s room and went on for the next ten minutes while we drank a couple of beers that I insisted on buying for the two of us.

We stood in the concourse watching on a TV as Trae Waynes intercepted Stanford’s Kevin Hogan in what remains one of the iconic images from that glorious Rose Bowl.

We yelled, cheered, hugged and high-fived with one another when Waynes came up with the pick.

We agreed that it was possible that we needed to keep the karma going and stay right there for the remainder of the game – and we shared stories about our experiences as students at Michigan State.

Lorenzo told me that that he loved the snow – his upbringing in Florida gave him a unique perspective of what it meant to experience Michigan State’s beautiful campus on the morning after a nighttime snowfall.

I told him that I watched every one of his carries on October 10th, 1987 when he ran for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns in Michigan State’s 17-11 victory over Michigan.

He laughed and said, “That game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score.  We took it to those guys and they still know it.”

I told him that I watched every one of his 56 carries against Indiana on TV in the Big Ten Championship-clinching game on that wonderful November afternoon in East Lansing in 1987.

He talked about how George Perles was determined to give him the ball “75 times if necessary” that day.

Lorenzo told me that he loved Perles – and he said, with a giant smile that only shows up on the face of a man who knows he’s made his mark – “almost as much as I love State…”

Meanwhile, Connor Cook was leading a a drive that got the Spartans to the Stanford 12-yard line and it was looking like a go-ahead score was about to occur in the Rose Bowl being played that afternoon.

However, on 1st and 10 at the 12, Jeremy Langford fumbled the ball and disrupted the Lorenzo/Sullivan Love Fest.

I looked at him and said, “Does that mean we need to go back to our seats?”

He laughed and said, “Hell yeah…”

It wound up that we were a section away from one another and we shared the rest of the game together from a distance with air-points, air high-fives, and all of that sort of stuff.

And now, Lorenzo White will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame.

It’s about time.

In December of this year, Lorenzo will be inducted in the National Football Foundation’s annual Hall of Famer dinner gala in New York City.

Vince Young and Raghib “Rocket” Ismail are two other members of the 2019 College Football Hall of Fame Class that Lorenzo will be a part of.

Lorenzo White was a wrecking machine, a pinball-like maneuverer, a workhorse, and a champion.

For anyone thinking this guy plowed away way back when players wore leather helmets, enjoy some highlights of a running back who would dominate and tear apart defenses in today’s college football just like he did many years ago –

Lorenzo White currently stands as the 33rd all time rushing leader in the history of college football.

He stopped playing college football in 1987.

He finished his incredible career at Michigan State with 4,887 yards.

He found the endzone for a touchdown 43 times.

Here are some names of college football running backs that are behind Lorenzo White in the all-time rushing leaders list:

  • Thurman Thomas is 35th with 4,847 yards.
  • Marcus Allen is 37th with 4,810 yards.
  • Mike Rozier is 39th with 4,780 yards.
  • Anthony Davis is 45th with 4,676 yards.
  • Marshall Faulk is 51st with 4,589 yards.
  • Eric Dickerson is 66th with 4,450 yards.
  • Earl Campbell is 67th with 4,443 yards.
  • Bo Jackson is 80th with 4,303 yards.
  • Tyrone Wheatley is 100th with 4,178 yards.
  • Anthony Thomas is 115th with 4,098 yards.
  • Adrian Peterson is 127th with 4,041 yards.
  • Ezekiel Elliott is 140th with 3,961 yards.
  • Emmitt Smith is 148th with 3,928 yards.
  • Saquon Barkley is 169th with 3,843 yards.

I didn’t ask him when we were drinking beer together during Michigan State’s Rose Bowl victory on January 1st, 2014 but I’d speculate that his favorite accomplishment as a Spartan might have been winning the Rose Bowl on January 1st, 1988.

Lorenzo carried the ball 35 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in State’s 20-17 Rose Bowl win over Southern California on that sun-drenched New Year’s Day that left Spartans everywhere brimming with happiness and pride.

Lorenzo White will now be a College Football Hall of Famer.

We all know he’s a Hall of Famer.

He was a Hall of Famer when he had those 56 carries for a total of 292 rushing yards in the 27-3 championship game against Indiana in what was the biggest football game in East Lansing in a generation.

He was a Hall of Famer when he stood with me in the concourse of the Rose Bowl and shared a beer while sharing stories about our love for Michigan State University.

And when we look at his overall rushing accomplishments – particularly when compared to the substantial amount of ball carriers with higher profiles who are behind him on that all-time rushing leaders list – only one question remains.

What the hell took so long for Lorenzo to be deemed worthy by the National Football Foundation?

Congratulations, Lorenzo.

Let’s meet up at the same urinal and in the same concourse when Michigan State makes its return to the Rose Bowl soon….

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