There is no mistaking the mark Greg Jones left on Michigan State during his four year stay. The Cincinnati (Ohio) native excelled on the field earning consensus All-American honors in back-to-back seasons, and is only the fourth male athlete in program history to earn back-to-back honors as the top male athlete.
Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio praised his former star linebacker for finding himself in rare company.
"Congratulations to Greg Jones for being recognized as Michigan State's top male athlete for the second year in a row," MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio said. "He is in rare company, becoming only the fourth male athlete in MSU history to win the award in back-to-back years.
"Greg closed out his collegiate career as one of the most decorated defensive players in Spartan history and that speaks volumes. He made a statement and validated our football program when he elected to pass on the NFL Draft and return to Michigan State for his senior year. Greg was driven to become a Big Ten Champion. He believed in this program, and over the last four years has helped shape and change the culture here. We're proud of all of his individual accomplishments. He is on track to graduate and will continue to be a great ambassador for our football program."
Jones was again humbled by all the attentions he's received and knows this year other Spartans athletes were also well deserving of the honor.
"Last year, it was humbling to win the George Alderton Award, especially when you consider (wrestler) Franklin Gomez was also in the running," Jones said. "Now to have won it again simply blows my mind. (First baseman) Jeff Holm had a remarkable season, earning All-Big Ten and All-America honors en route to helping the baseball team win its first conference title since 1979. We had very similar years, so I congratulate him because he's certainly worthy of this honor as well.
"I'm truly honored and excited to once again be the recipient. I looked up to Mateen Cleaves as a kid and to know that he also won this prestigious award twice is amazing.
"I wouldn't trade my last four years at Michigan State for anything. I made a commitment to the football program when I decided to return for my senior year, but I shared that same commitment with all of my teammates and it was that mindset that helped us win a Big Ten Championship. I was fortunate to be one of the leaders on last year's team, and it meant the world to me to hold that position of leadership. We had a shared goal and that dream came true, winning a Big Ten title. I'm so thankful to all of my teammates and coaches at Michigan State; it's been an incredible journey."
Quotes provided by MSU athletics sports information