Photo: The cover of Bob Apisa's Men of Sparta documentary features Clinton Jones (26) and Notre Dame's Jimy Lynch after the 1966 Game of the Century. In the Youtube feature, Clinton Jones is No. 26 and and Bob Apisa No. 45.
Michigan State two-time All-American backs Clinton Jones and Bob Apisa will gather with the Michigan State Alumni Club of Orange County on Sept. 2 at Cruisers Pizza Bar and Grill in Newport Beach, Calif.
Jones, a halfback from Cleveland, will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Michigan State recognizes the honor on Sept. 12 by adding his name to the Ring of Fame at halftime of the Oregon game at Spartan Stadium.
With Jones joining teammates George Webster, Bubba Smith and Gene Washington in the Hall, Michigan State is only the fourth school with four members from the same class enshrined and the first since Boston College in 1940 (the other two are Notre Dame and Stanford).
More significantly, they are the first foursome of black teammates from the same class, which adds to Duffy Daugherty’s legacy as a leader in the integration of college football with his Underground Railroad teams in the 1960s.
Apisa, a fullback from Honolulu, was the first Samoan All-American player. Daugherty recruited Apisa as part of his Hawaiian Pipeline. Apisa’s success launched the wave of Samoans into football, which reached two milestones in the past year. One, with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota as the first Samoan Heisman Trophy winner in December, and the second with Junior Seau as the first Samoan enshrined in August the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Jones and Apisa will discuss their Michigan State careers and the preseason No. 5-ranked Spartans’ return to national prominence under ninth-year head coach Mark Dantonio. Michigan State opens the season Sept. 4 at Western Michigan.
This season marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 national championship team, a milestone that will be recognized at halftime of the Spartans’ Oct. 3 homecoming game against Purdue.
The players will sign copies of the book on Michigan State’s leading role in the integration of college football.
Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans
By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications.
The book features chapters on Jones, Chapter 12, and Apisa, Chapter 13.
Proceeds from the book sales will be donated to the development of Apisa’s documentary, "Men of Sparta." Apisa also will show a trailer from an unfinished documentary.
The event begins at 6 p.m. PT with the Jones and Apisa speaking at about 7 p.m.