Exclusive: Spartan Nation Talks with Former Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy

Jon Schopp, a longtime contributor at Sports Illustrated's Spartan Nation, sits down with former Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.
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East Lansing, Mich. – Today, Spartan Nation brings its readers and listeners an exclusive interview with a Michigan State legend. 

Senior contributor Jon Schopp spoke with former Spartan defensive tackle Jerel Worthy at MSU Atlanta Day to talk about his time in East Lansing, his pro career, and much more. 

Coming out of Wayne High School, Worthy was a three-star prospect ranked as the 53rd best defensive tackle in his class and the No. 30 ranked recruit in Ohio. 

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, he started 11 of 13 games in his second year, recording nine tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. 

In doing so, he earned Freshman All-America honors from multiple publications featuring Sporting News and Rivals. 

Worthy started all 13 games the following season and finished with 40 tackles, eight for a loss, and four sacks. He was an All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media. 

The three-year letterwinner was a consensus first-team All-American in his final year, becoming Michigan State's first All-American selection at defensive tackle since Ronald Curl in 1971. 

In addition, Worthy was the first Spartan defensive lineman to earn AP First Team All-America honors since Charles 'Bubba' Smith in 1966. But he wouldn't stop there; he was one of 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, one of 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, and one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. 

At 6-foot-2 and 300-pounds, the Green Bay Packers took Worthy in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. 

He would go on to be a member of the New England Patriots (practice squad), Kansas City Chiefs (practice squad), Detroit Lions (practice squad), Buffalo Bills (2015-17), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2018), and Orlando Apollos (2019).

The NFL free-agent holds 35 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and one forced fumble in his pro career. 


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