Michigan State football’s Charles Brantley, a diminutive CB who came up huge vs. Michigan

EAST LANSING — Harlon Barnett joked that Charles Brantley “only weighs 90 pounds.”

“I tease him about that,” Michigan State football’s secondary coach grinned.

Brantley is listed at 165 pounds on the Spartans’ roster, but “I don’t really want to talk about my weight,” the cornerback sheepishly chuckled Tuesday.

Instead, he prefers to let his hitting do the talking. Just ask Michigan’s Eric All.

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Before his game-clinching interception in No. 6 MSU’s 37-33 win Saturday, Brantley, giving up 80 pounds and 4 inches, knocked the Wolverines’ tight end out of the game with a devastating hit along the sideline.

Michigan State Spartans cornerback Charles Brantley intercepts a pass to Michigan Wolverines tight end Luke Schoonmaker with one minute remaining to seal MSU’s 37-33 win Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021 at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

It didn’t matter. And that’s just the way Brantley likes it.

“That’s just how I approach everybody,” the 6-foot freshman said. “I’m gonna hit you. You got to show me your bigger than me.”

Said Barnett: “Oh, he’s a chip on the shoulder guy, for sure. He doesn’t look at himself as too small. If you watch the game, I know the interception was nice, but he came up and hit some guys, too. That’s what he does. He doesn’t run up and slow down and tackle you, he’s gonna try to run through you.”

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Brantley made that big hit on All, one of his four tackles Saturday. His coverage skills also were on display in the fourth quarter, running stride for stride with U-M’s Andrel Anthony and bumping the freshman receiver just enough to turn a drive-extending catch into an out-of-bounds incompletion.

Oh yeah, then…


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