MSU Announces George Webster Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will provide opportunities for former Spartan student-athletes to return to campus and complete their degrees.

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State Athletics Director Ron Mason announced the establishment of the George Webster Scholarship Fund during a halftime ceremony at Saturday’s MSU-Indiana basketball game in the Breslin Center.

Webster, a two-time consensus All-American and two-time all-conference selection, helped Michigan State football to a combined record of 19-1-1 in 1965-66 as the Spartans won back-to-back Big Ten Conference and National Championships. At 6-foot-4, 218 pounds, he revolutionized the roverback position with his size and speed. As a senior, Webster recorded 93 tackles, including 10 for losses, as Michigan State ranked third nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 51.4 yards per game. In 1967, he became just the second former Spartan to have his jersey number (No. 90) retired. Webster was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He has been rated among the 100 Greatest Players of All-Time by

A first-round selection (No. 5 overall) by the Houston Oilers in 1967, Webster spent 10 years in the National Football League (Houston, 1967-72; Pittsburgh, 1972-73; and New England, 1974-76). He was selected the American Football League’s Rookie of the Year by United Press International after averaging more than 10 tackles per game in 1967. Webster played in three AFL All-Star Games, earning Defensive MVP honors in 1969. In 1970, he was named to the AFL’s All-Time Team (first team) by a special panel of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters.

The George Webster Scholarship Fund, created through the generosity of Jim Nelson (1960 MSU graduate from Ada, Mich.), will provide opportunities for two former student-athletes to return to Michigan State each year and complete their degrees. The first recipients of the scholarship are Richard Newsome (football, 1997-2000) and Antonio Smith (men’s basketball, 1996-99).

“Players like George Webster come around once in a lifetime, but so do people of his character and courage,” Mason said. “It’s only fitting that a scholarship fund be named in his honor to continue his legacy here at MSU.”

“I’m so honored that Jim Nelson would think so much of me to create this scholarship in my name,” Webster said. “I deeply love this University and to know that Jim has created a fund that will associate my name with the University for eternity is truly humbling.”

“There’s no question that Mr. Nelson’s generosity will change the lives of former student-athletes forever,” MSU Associate Athletics Director/Director of Student-Athlete Support Services Jim Pignataro said.

Those interested in contributing to the George Webster Scholarship Fund are encouraged to contact MSU Athletic Development/Ralph Young Fund at (517) 432-4610.

Props to MSU for this release.