Elsworth Ends Career on Top at Michigan State

Michigan State College Football Kyler Elsworth

Elsworth Ends Career On Top

On a 4th and 1 with just under two minutes to play, Kyler Elsworth leaped over the line and tackled Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney short of the first down marker, securing a victory for Michigan State.

The road to that point was a long one for Elsworth.

The redshirt-senior came to Michigan State as a walk-on, but earned a scholarship before the 2011 season after excelling on the scout team. Since then, Elsworth has seen time primarily on special teams and has served as a backup linebacker.

But after starting middle linebacker Max Bullough was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules, Elsworth was thrust into the spot. Bullough had been the leader of the Spartan defense this season and was relied on to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Coming into the game, Elsworth had 69 career tackles over his four seasons as a Spartan; seven less than Bullough had this season. 

Elsworth has recorded double digit tackles every year, including ten before the Rose Bowl this season.  2011 was his most productive, as he recorded 37 tackles, including a career-high ten against Nebraska. If there was any doubt about Elsworth being able to get the job done, he quickly erased that thought. 

Stanford plays a very physical style of football and Elsworth showed he was up to that challenge. Throughout the game, Elsworth came up big and made the plays he needed to, culminating with his 4th down stop. 

His efforts earned him the Defensive MVP of the game. It took five years of hard work for Elsworth to get his chance and he made the most of it, securing himself a place in Spartan history with his play.