College Football: Michigan State's Jerel Worthy Gets Swag with Surprising Ink

Matt SheehanAnalyst IAugust 15, 2011

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09: Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans hits Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines during the game on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Swagger. Rappers preach it, champions have it and everybody wants it. The seven letter word is so prominent in sports these days, it seems like athletes will do anything to grab a piece of it and bring it to their persona.

Everyone has their own way of rolling in to a game or even a season with that big chip on their shoulder. Some guarantee wins, others may promise a dismantling of their opponent and a few just talk themselves up like they are the greatest thing since freezer pops.

Just a few months ago in the NBA Finals, a bold step of swag was strut when Jason Terry got a tattoo of the Larry O’Brien trophy on his bicep before the series against the terribly self-named “Heattles” even started.

It was bold, it was new and it was never to be done again, right?


Michigan State defensive monster Jerel Worthy just got the tat of the century by Spartan standards. Feeling confident and cool after dominating in-state rival University of Michigan for the past three seasons, the senior now officially has the freshest ink on campus.

The new artwork on his massive left shoulder is a portrait of a Spartan, starring furiously at whoever dares to look at it for a good second. No harm so far, until your eyes trace down to see a crushed wolverine under the left foot of the warrior. For MSU fans, that’s what we’re talking about. For U of M fans, well, let's just say Worthy might need to watch his back on October 15.

Now that the ink has set in, the debate for the tat has just begun. Is this too soon? Will Dantonio disapprove? Could he have been a little bit more arrogant? The answer to all three questions is "No."

Even if the Spartans lose to the Wolverines in East Lansing, this year’s senior core still finishes at 3-1, still leaving that stomped Wolverine in the tattoo pretty beat up. If the green and white do continue their smashing of the maize and blue and go 4-0, then I expect at least 10 other gridiron Spartans will get duplicate ink jobs.

Now one question remains: Did Dantonio approve? Or was Worthy running so many laps that he will soon be mistaken for a punter?

You have all seen his game face and quite frankly I feel like I did something wrong when I just glance at the guy. It’s the borderline permanent look of sheer intimidation. No nonsense coming out of this guy or so we thought.

According to Worthy, Dantonio actually liked the tat.

“He just said, ‘cool tattoo’,” claims Worthy. “My strength coach and other coaches approved of it too.”

Surprised? Same here.

So there is still one more question left: could you get anymore arrogant?

Heck no, unless he choose to have “U of M SUCKS” or “4-0” tatted on his forehead, which would have been really legendary. What is the U of M/MSU rivalry based off of anyway? Sheer arrogance and bragging rights, just like any other great match up.

Yes, Michigan fans will be in uproar because of his shoulder bumper sticker, but let’s not let history slip away from us. Let’s not forget a press conference four years ago after Michigan defeated the Spartans. Let’s not forget the cocky little running back with a big mouth.

Let’s not lose to “little brother” three times in a row, because that could turn into someone’s permanent reminder someday.