Big Ten Medal of Honor: Kirk Cousins, Michigan State Football

Michigan State football player Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins
Michigan State Football

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, who ranks as the winningest quarterback in school history, compiled a 27-12 record (.692) in 39 career starts, including a 22-5 mark over his final two seasons. Cousins became only the second three-time captain in MSU history (Robert McCurry, 1946-48) and the first Spartan starting quarterback to win three-straight games over Michigan. He ranks first in MSU history in pass completions (723), passing yards (9,131), touchdown passes (66), passing efficiency (146.1), 200-yard passing games (26) and total offense (9,004 yards). Cousins also is listed among MSU’s all-time leaders in pass attempts (second with 1,128), completion percentage (second at .641; 723 of 1,128) and passing yards per game (third at 202.9). In addition, he ranks among the Big Ten’s all-time Top 10 in completion percentage (tied for sixth), passing efficiency (seventh), passing yards (10th) and TD passes (tied for 10th).

In 2011, he was named one of three finalists for the Chicago Tribune Silver Football (Big Ten MVP) after ranking among the Big Ten leaders in TD passes (tied for second with MSU single-season record 25), passing yards (second at 236.9 yards per game), passing efficiency (third with a 145.1 rating) and total offense (fifth at 234.1 ypg.). A second-team All-Big Ten selection by the league’s head coaches, Cousins completed 267-of-419 throws (.637) for 3,316 yards, 25 TDs and 10 interceptions. He had a school-record tying 11 200-yard passing games in 2011, including the last six games in a row.

A four-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Cousins graduated in December 2011 with a degree in kinesiology. He was presented the 2011 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in the NCAA Division I FBS. In addition, Cousins was named to the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Class and became one of 16 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy.