With 60 days until the return of Michigan Football, we look back at All-American Mark Messner. The 6-foot-3 native of Riverview, Michigan was an impressive defensive player with the following highlights and achievements:
- He was the first position player in the Big Ten Conference to be selected as a first-team all-conference player in four consecutive years.
- In four years at Michigan, Messner totaled 248 tackles and five fumble recoveries.
- He started 49 consecutive games for Michigan starting with the opening game of his redshirt freshman year.
- He was selected as a co-captain and Most Valuable Player on the 1988 Michigan team.
- Messner had eight sacks and set a Michigan record in 1988 with 26 tackles for loss.
- After the 1988 season, Messner was selected as a consensus first-team defensive lineman on the 1988 All-America Team.
- He was also selected to play in the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl post-season all-star games.
- He remains Michigan’s all-time career leader in tackles for loss (70), tackles for sack yardage (376 yards), sacks (36), and sack yardage (273 yards).
- He was also Michigan’s sack leader each year from 1985 to 1987.
- In 2014, Messner was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor.
- Messner was drafted in the sixth round (161st overall pick) of the 1989 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.
- Messner appeared in only four regular season games, none as a starter, for the Rams during their 1989 season.
- On January 14, 1990, he sustained a career-ending knee injury in the 1989-90 NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers and never played in another game.
- The injury resulted in tears to his anterior (ACL), lateral and medial cruciate ligaments.
Messner was a huge contributor all four years while at Michigan and had a lot of football left before his career ended abruptly due to his injury. His defensive stats are what guys in his same position to this day work to achieve.