Van Pelt is one of the most decorated Spartan athletes in history, earning seven varsity letters while playing baseball, basketball and football.
On the gridiron, Van Pelt roamed the secondary as a safety, amassing 256 tackles and 14 interceptions in his career, one that was highlighted by becoming the first ever secondary player to win college football's Maxwell Award honoring the nation's top player.
Van Pelt was drafted into both the NFL and MLB. Selected by the New York Giants in the NFL draft, Van Pelt made his mark in the Big Apple as well, with five selections as an All-Pro in 14 seasons.
"Brad had a big heart and was a real giver," former Spartan coach George Perles said in an MSU release. " He carried a lot of people (on his back) when he was on top."
Gus Ganakas, who coached Van Pelt in basketball at State, remembered him as a Renaissance man.
"Brad ranks as one of the most versatile athletes in Spartan history, earning seven varsity letters in three sports, but he was an even more remarkable young man," Ganakas said. "We're all saddened by his loss."
And current football head coach Mark Dantonio said Van Pelt wore his Spartan pride on his sleeve.
"I had an opportunity to visit with Brad during his tour of the new Skandalaris Football Center last year, and I could sense his Spartan pride," Dantonio said. "He impacted a lot of lives during his college and pro careers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Van Pelt family in this time of grief."
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