60 Days: A Look Back At All-American Mark Messner

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:

College

  • 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.

NFL

  • 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.

Go Blue!

David Noe