« Football 2011

Kirk Cousins

Michigan State


Cousins, a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection, maintains a 3.68 GPA in Kinesiology.


When looking at Cousins, his impressive statistics are just one side of the story. His leadership skills are invaluable, from mentoring the younger players, to uniting the team during offseason workouts, to his decision-making on the field. He truly exemplifies what it means to be a leader. He is only the second three-time captain in the 115-year history of the Michigan State football program. Cousins made national headlines when he delivered the keynote speech at the 2011 Big Ten Football Kickoff on behalf of the players, as he talked about the privilege and responsibility of wearing a college uniform. Following his inspiring message, Cousins received a standing ovation from the nearly 1,800 people in attendance. To read the transcript and watch his speech, visit: http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/080511aac.html


Cousins is perhaps the most involved Michigan State student-athlete in the community. He has participated in numerous community initiatives, including volunteering in the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing as part the Spartan Buddies Program, and also working the Sparrow Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, among others. He has spoken to numerous church organizations and youth clubs on what it means to be a responsible student-athlete. Last season, he was one of 22 players named to the Allstate AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) All-Good Works Team, the pre-eminent Community Service Award in college football. He was also named one of 10 finalists for the Wuerfel Trophy, a national award that honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.


Cousins is entering his third season as Michigan State’s starting quarterback. Heading into the 2011 season, he is ranked among the top quarterbacks in the nation, and CBSSports.com named him one of the nation’s “most influential players.” As a junior, Cousins was named a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award (nation’s top quarterback), thanks to one of the best statistical seasons in Spartan history. His 66.9 completion percentage, 226 pass completions, 2,825 passing yards and 20 touchdown passes all ranked among the top five in the MSU single-season record book. In his two seasons as the starter, Cousins (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) has posted impressive numbers. He enters his final season as the most accurate passer in school history, completing 64 percent of his attempts, and also owns the best pass efficiency rating of any Spartan quarterback (146.7 rating). Cousins already ranks among MSU’s career leaders in passing yards (fourth; 5,815 yards), total offense (fourth; 5,727 yards), pass completions (sixth; 456), touchdown passes (sixth; 41) and pass attempts (eighth; 709).