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Mark Messner

Defensive Tackle

Mark Messner

Inducted 2022

Date of Birth



Riverview, MI


University of Michigan (1985-1988)


One of the greatest defensive players in Michigan history, Mark Messner terrorized offenses while becoming the Wolverines' all-time leader in sacks and tackles for loss. The Hartland, Michigan, native is the 33rd player in school history to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Messner started all 49 games in his career at Michigan and became a unanimous First Team All-American in 1988. The 1988 Rotary Lombardi Award finalist became the Wolverines' all-time career leader with 70 tackles for loss, 376 tackles for loss yardage, 36 sacks and 273 sack yardage lost. Named the 1988 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, Messner led Michigan to conference titles in 1986 and 1988. He was the first player in Big Ten history to be a first team all-conference selection in four consecutive years, and his career tackles for loss and sacks were both tied for third in the Big Ten record books. The 1988 team captain led the Wolverines to three bowl victories, including the 1986 Fiesta Bowl where he earned Defensive MVP honors, as well as the 1988 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 1989 Rose Bowl. Messner guided the Wolverines to a 38-9-2 record and four final national rankings, including two top five finishes in 1985 (No. 2) and 1988 (No. 4). He led Michigan in sacks in all four seasons and his five sacks against Northwestern in 1987 set a school single-game record. The Wolverines' 1987 team MVP and 1986 Defensive MVP led the team to a 3-1 record against archrival Ohio State. Messner was coached by College Football Hall of Famer Bo Schembechler and played alongside Hall of Famer John Elliott during his time in Ann Arbor. He capped his collegiate career in the Hula Bowl all-star game. A sixth-round pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, Messner played one season for the Los Angeles Rams before a career-ending injury. Messner became a board member of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee in Florida.


Height 6'3"

Weight 225

Career Highlights

  • 1989 Japan Bowl MVP
  • 1988 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
  • 1988 First Team All-America
  • 1988 First Team All-Big Ten
  • 1987 First Team All-Big Ten
  • 1986 Fiesta Bowl Co-MVP
  • 1986 First Team All-Big Ten
  • 1985 First Team All-Big Ten
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