Making History Under Center
Making History Under CenterJanuary 20, 2023
With perhaps the most fitting name for a quarterback ever, MSU’s Willie Thrower, ’54, became the Big Ten’s first Black QB in 1950. He went on to play three seasons in East Lansing under Coach “Biggie” Munn. Thrower was a talented passer. He completed 59 percent of his attempts in 1952, and was integral to the Spartans’ march to that season’s National Championship title.
Less than a year later, on October 18, 1953, Thrower took the field for the Chicago Bears and became the first Black quarterback to play in the NFL.
Photos: Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Author: Tim Cerullo, '08