Former Running Back Winston Looks to Start Fresh in NFL

Ex-Spartan running back Glenn Winston had an embattled career while wearing the green and white.

In 2008, he led the team with 364 return yards his freshman year in only seven games before being suspended after a fight with members of the hockey team.

He spent six months in jail, but was allowed to return to the team for his sophomore year. Winston then won the starting job and had a promising start to his season before tearing his ACL in a game against Illinois.

But later, Winston found trouble again. This time, getting into a fight with fraternity members at Rather Hall, and he was then dismissed from the team.

He was not ready to give up on his dream of playing football, but his road back to the game he loved was a difficult one.

He spent a semester at Lansing Community College and began his search for teams that would give him another chance at playing the game he loved.

After over a year of rejections, he focused simply on finding places to stay the night. He would spend a few weeks at a time crashing at old high school friends’ houses. He even spent some nights sleeping in former MSU teammate Fred Smith’s car.

Eventually, Winston got in touch with Jeffrey Johnson, a personal trainer who had worked with former Spartans Greg Jones and Brandon Denson. Johnson and his wife Rose invited Winston to stay with them in their home and he quickly became part of their family.

After a long journey of trying to get back to football, Winston finally joined the Northwood University (Mich.) football program last fall. He rushed for 717 yards and nine touchdowns in eight games and decided to leave the team with a year of eligibility remaining.

Winston participated in Eastern Michigan’s pro day, where he drew attention from NFL teams including the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins.

Most Spartan fans will be tuned into the NFL Draft May 8 to see where Darqueze Dennard will be drafted in the first round, but do not forget to look out for Glenn Winston’s name in rounds 4-7 on May 10.

Dan Tyler is the host of the Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports.

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports