For the Lorenzo White, the College Football Hall of Fame represents completion, the long-awaited and final piece of recognition in a brilliant Michigan State career.
“The Hall of Fame, that was the last thing that was left,” White said Friday at Big Ten football media days, ahead of his enshrinement later this year.
This was the ninth time he’d been nominated. He watched friends and teammates and other Spartans, some with lesser accomplishments, be inducted. Finally, in January, he received word by mail at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida — a commemorative football and note, which he had to read to believe.
“Some of my other friends that got in, they were like, ‘What is going on?’” White said. “They didn’t know they were making it 10 times worse, making me that more mad on the inside.”
White can laugh about it now. He’s in. He’ll be inducted on Dec. 10 and, on Sept 28, he’ll be celebrated as he’s added to MSU’s Ring of Honor at Spartan Stadium. Fittingly, that’s the Indiana game. He rushed for 286 yards against the Hoosiers in 1985 and, in 1987, 292 yards on 56 carries against Indiana to help send the Spartans to the Rose Bowl. Those are the second- and third-most rushing yards in a game in MSU history (behind Eric Allen’s 350 against Purdue in 1971). White’s 56 carries remain a single-game record. He’s also No. 2 and 3 on that list.