The Best Ever: BJ Cunningham

Continuing the "Best Ever" series I'm back today with a guy who will technically become the best Spartan at his position ever.  Yesterday was Edwin Baker.  Monday was Johnny Adams.

Today's Best Ever is #3 BJ Cunningham, WR, Sr

BJ Cunningham currently sits in 3rd place on the MSU All-Time receptions list with 139 career catches.  He is 7 catches behind Andre Rison for 2nd place all-time.  Quick take a guess who is in first place, I'll wait...No, It's not Charles Rogers.  It's not Plax.  It's not Derrick Mason, Courtney Hawkins, or Kirk Gibson.  That's right, the Michigan State career receptions leader is Matt Trannon.  Yes, that Matt Trannon.  I hear he played basketball too.

[caption id="attachment_67" align="alignright" width="300" caption="This is how I will always remember Matt Trannon"][/caption]

Argue with me if you want, but Charles Rogers was the best wide receiver ever at MSU.  Look at what he did in his two seasons 2001, and 2002.  Rogers in 2001 caught 67 passes (then school record) for 1,470 yards (single season record) and 14 TDs (also the single season record).  In 2002 he caught 68 (then school record) passes for 1,351 yards (2nd all-time to himself) with 13 TDs (also himself).  In 2002 Rogers was an All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver.

BJ Cunningham is 10 catches away from breaking Trannon's record.  "Kirk told me one," Cunningham said of how many games it will take to break it.  He's benefited from having four (assuming his trends stay true) productive seasons at MSU.  He's never had one amazing season.  He has had season reception tallies of 41, 48, and 50 to put him at 139.  His highest single season in receiving yards is just 641.  He is 13th on the MSU all-time receiving yards list with 1,780.  If he gets 700 yards this season that will put him just ahead of Kirk Gibson for 3rd all time behind Rison and Rogers.

Cunningham's 9 TDs last year put him 4th in the single season book.  He is still 14 behind Rogers and 11 behind Gibson for the career record.  He can reach Gibson with a great season, but I think Rogers' record is safe.  I'm not going to rule out an amazing season since he is by far Kirk Cousins' best target.  The other receivers are good, but Cunningham is the best playmaker.  Also, he and Cousins have a great connection.  "We were on scout team together so we already had that chemistry.  He’s just a great quarterback.  He works hard and his work ethic makes us work hard.  He’s throwing us the ball.  We all want to ball so we’re going to be there with him," is how he described his connection with his QB.

I argued that Baker won't reach his goal because of the crowded backfield.  The wide receivers at MSU are arguably the best group on the whole team, but they all have different roles.  As much as Keith Nichol has worked to break the "blocking receiver" stereotype it still holds true.  Keshawn Martin is the most electric playmaker in the B1G not named Denard, but he won't take too many downfield catches from Cunningham.  I like how Cunningham put it the best, "I do my job, I get open and catch the rock…it’s bread and butter."

The place where BJ Cunningham doesn't come ANYWHERE close to the other great receivers MSU has ever produced is off the field.  Every single one of the receivers that are ahead of him on the all-time great list are better known for other things than football.

  • Andre Rison: Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes burned his house down.  A close second is this fight he had with Prime Time.  [yframe url='']
  • Plaxico Burress shot himself.
  • Kirk Gibson ruined my family name.[yframe url='']
  • Matt Trannon played basketball, as EVERY DAMN ANNOUNCER EVER HAD TO TELL US!
  • And of course Charles Rogers smoked his way out of the league and did this amazing interview. [yframe url='']

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