Jimmy Raye on The Drive with Jack radio program
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Jimmy Raye on The Drive with Jack radio program

Michigan State's pioneering QB and Hall of Fame tight end Charlie Sanders were friends and rivals dating to high school

Photo: Jimmy Raye breaks free for yardage in the 1966 Game of the Century against Notre Dame.

Jimmy Raye was a recent guest on The Drive with Jack. Host Jack Ebling and co-host Graham Couch, a columnist at the Lansing State Journal, invited Raye to talk about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Spartans' 1965 national championship team -- the first of back-to-back Big Ten and national title.

Raye's segment on the show begins at the 1 hour, 30-minute mark.

Raye also discussed his long friendship with Charlie Sanders, the Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end with the Detroit Lions that passed away from cancer.

Raye, the South's first black quarterback on Michigan State's 1966 national co-championship team, knew Sanders as high school rivals in then-segregated North Carolina. Raye played for Fayetteville E.E. Smith and Sanders for Greensboro Dudley. Both players were football, basketball and baseball stars in high school.

The Drive with Jack featuring Jimmy Raye

Purchase Raye of Light

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom spent the bulk of his career in San DIego writing for the San Diego Union-Tribune. He has covered NCAA Tournaments, Super Bowls, Rose Bowls, the NBA Finals and the World Series in a career that included writing for Voice of San Diego, the San Diego Hall of Champions and Chargers.com. He contributes to the Detroit Free Press, Raleigh News & Observer, MLB.com, Rivals.com and the National Football Foundation's Football Matters. He won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003. USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter presented its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. It explains Duffy Daugherty's pioneering role and debunks myths that steered recognition away from him to Bear Bryant.

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winner and biographer: "History writes people out of the story. It's our job to write them back in."