Your favorite obscure player in Michigan history
i think that was his name...
he was either a CB or Safety from Omaha Nebraska; and he recovered a muffed punt deep in Wisconsin territory to seal the victory for us sometime in the early 2000's.
the special connection i had with him is that i had recently moved from Nebraska to the A2, so me and my dad chatted with him on media day because there was really no one else who gave a shit about him.
Close. It was Brandon Williams.
My dad used to have to tow me along to his bowling league when I was a kid (single father) and he bowled on the same team as David's dad "Bubba" Brandt. Bubba was the nicest guy in the world and used to just beam when he talked about how his kid played for the Wolverines. Actually that may have been where my love affair with Michigan Football began, at the very least it was fortified by the times I spent talking to Bubba about Michigan Football and David Brandt.
by birth then moved to Rockford.
You gotta go with Grandville though. I wonder why the conference turns out state champs but not too many D1 prospects outside of a few from Muskegon (who beat Devin Gardner.)
He was very good to my two sons at two different media days five or six years ago. We caught him after media day concluded heading into Crisler in full uniform and he let my youngest son (around 6 at that time) hold his helmet and put it on. He caught a long pass at Iowa one year that set up a key TD. He hurt his knee early on in practice but he didn't let that set him back playing in Braylon's shadow.
I remember him recovering Brylan's fumble in the Washington game after Brylan gave up on the play thinking it was a fumble. We later went on and kicked a game winning field goal!
Cuz he knew how to keep his women in line and he coached my high school football team.
I think his name was Eric Carpenter. I have no idea how obscure he was; I don't even know what position he played. I was in second grade and he was part of a "mentor" program at my elementary school where Michigan students (many of them athletes; friends of mine got David Terrell and Tom Brady helping them with school) came and helped out. I don't know why this happened, come to think of it. Anyway, this guy helping my second grade class had his '97 ring stolen, if I remember correctly.
Looked it up. His name was Chad, and he was a tight end.
not really obscure, but Leroy Hoard is one of my all time favorites.
He was a tight end on the 1997 team and blew out his knee in I believe the ND game. It was my freshman year, and a couple of my new friends in AA (who happened to be from my same home town, but different HS) were friends with him. As a life long fan, I thought it was really cool to have a little connection to the program (although VERY indirect)
Who was the running back that Woodley brought with him? He was my favorite while I was on campus.
Yes. I really liked the idea that he was getting a shot because his friend was there for him... I was a weird kid.
he did well his freshmen year and had a lot of potential..
Darnell Hood followed Ernest Shazor as the only 2 gunners that I can remember that made a difference doing 1 of the hardest things to accomplish playing football. Hood was awesome at beating the double team and then just stoning the punt returner.
Probably not long enough to be considered obscure yet, but I was a huge Kevin Dudley fan and was always disappointed he never got to score a touchdown while here.
Also from the recent era I think Jermaine Gonzalez will eventually count as obscure (he's going to be our running QB!!!!!!!), Alijah Bradley was pretty cool, and Obi Oluigbo was awesome as well.
Kevin Dudley was awesome... I always used him in goal line situations in NCCA 04, just because I wanted him to score a touchdown.
...WR who pumped up the crowd in that mesmerizing 22-22 tie with Illinois in 1992, and caught the touchdown pass meant for Howard in the 1991 Rose Bowl (when Wheatley had the long TD run near the end - we lost 34-14 to Washington).
I think Michigan had 11 fumbles in the Illinois game, so you will all understand, based on last year's Michigan fumbling issues, why that game is so fresh in the memory.
He had a helluva leg. I've always loved M football, but my full-blown obsession has only been for the last 5 or 6 years, so maybe I'm not remembering correctly, but seems like he would boom kickoffs through the endzone pretty much every time to help us win the field position battle, and I think he was none to shabby at FGs too
Epstein indeed had an incredibly strong leg, but he was never all that accurate. He wasn't very good in pressure situations. He missed twice in the fourth quarter of the 2000 UCLA game, for instance (we lost 23-20).
Larry Foster. Pash rushing machine!
For me it's a close call--either Lance Dottin (the Stevie Brown of 1991) or Yale VanDyne
I love this guys.
We have the makings of a pretty solid squad with these "obscure" players.
We have a couple good tailbacks, a couple good blocking fullbacks, two nice WRs, an O-lineman to anchor the front.
Defensively, I was a big fan of Lance Dottin as well.....he had a big INT to start the 1991 ND game off on the right foot.
Lets keep adding players!
Lance may have been Charles Woodson, but I would never know as whenever my memory bank thinks "Lance Dottin" immediately the Florida St game highlight reel turns on and I see Amp Lee dislocating Dottin's kneecaps and ankles and laughing at his exposed jock as he waltzes in the end zone. Till this day while playing basketball or recalling the previous days game we refer to any great juke or horrible tackle as a Dottin. "did you see that guy go Dottin last night that was sick.
Give me Clint Copenhaver blitzing off the edge for $200 Alex.
Daydrian Taylor for the big hit in 97.
Great lead blocker. Hayden Epstein was a good one too. I remember going to a game against EMU where he put two kickoffs through the uprights. I think a couple more went into the stands.
Was Epstein the punter turned kicker?
Yes, liked him too.
Shea in my Madden football game to get a great fullback who was not very costly. He had great hands in that game as well (forget which year). I signed a bunch of low rated Michigan guys so I could have Randy Moss and Peyton manning on my team at the same time. For some reason Shea sticks out in my memory.
Howabout Trent Zenkewicz,Trezelle Jenkins and Chris Floyd.
RT from a few years ago had some AWESOME sideburns, if I recall correctly
The Big Elvis! I remember that guy. He had to be a jokester sporting those chops.
Remy! (south bend 1994)
is Yale Van Dyne!
(btw, i'm a big alan jefferson fan - he almost arrested me along w/some buddies 12-13 yrs ago when he was with the DPD, but let us go after i recognized him and gave him mad props for his h.s. and college play)..
Epstien handled both punting and kickoffs. According to the statistical archive on Mgoblue he is in the top ten in both punting and kicking categories. I think he spent some time with the Minnesota Vikings but never really panned out in the NFL.
I'm pretty sure I remember him playing in the Arena League a few years back.
How about Jesse Johnson and Ricky Powers? (I guess I'm showing my UM vintage)
Nice call along with Jesse Johnson. Jesse was built like a balling ball,tough runner btw the tackles. Ricky never got his just dues,imo.
Great call with Ricky Powers. I got one of those Wolverine mini Hutch uniforms Like 20 years ago and the jersey number was 12 for Ricky. Ah, the memories...
At the end of the Iowa game in 1986 as Gillette was lining up the winning kick, Zurbrugg turns around to no one in particular, smiles, and says, "Wouldn't it suck if he missed?"
Cam Cameron almost had an aneurysm.
How about a 6'8" wide receiver? With like a 20 yards/catch average?
play bball also?
The "Dokester" played on Michigan's NIT championship team.
He was a high school all-stater in football AND basketball.
Don't bring a knife to a gun fight... or the cops?!?!?!
"Stay the hell away from my Z!"
(bang bang bang)
Went to my high school (many years ahead of me). I remember when he did that, and thinking how great it must have made our hometown look.
I always liked Tommy Hendricks. Also I liked to see how Jeremy VanAlstyne did b/c I had a few classes w/ him. We would talk every once in awhile and he seemed very down to earth and a normal guy.
JVA is one funny kid. Did a spot-on Ali G impression.
Also Jerome Jackson for me. He came through when we needed him to. When Hart went down, he came through BIG for us against Iowa ('06?). He had a lot of heart. I remember when he was coming off injury in '04-'05, they were trying to bring him back gradually (early in the season). He was in the mix to start that year (before Hart's emergence). He was demanding that coaches at least put him on special teams.
Also Troy Nienberg. The kid would demolish kick returners. Loved Michigan football. Wore his heart on his sleeve. I remember coaches telling him not to throw his body into the mix on Kick Defense. He looked so upset.
Ross Ryan, possibly solely responsible for inspiring us to stay through the rain.
I remember HATING to see him leave... just this good ol' cornfed white boy who made a living hittin' linebackers in the mouth.
And what a great number for a fullback...
I always thought he was a great asset to the team, even though he was jsut the long-snapper. I remember him always seeming to be in punt coverage tackles, even though he had probably one of the most dangerous and least appreciated jobs on the team.
I'll pull a Glen Mason's Hot Wife and add multiple comments rather than just editing the first...
I know he never really achieved full potential, and was never anything more than slightly above average, but I always pulled for Grant Bowman. I remember being real happy for the kid when he was elected captain. This too, is a numbers thing for me, obviously...
I always thought he had the capability to be a great DE for us, but then he chased the money and faded into obscurity....too bad.
Orr had a sack against Purdue in 2002 where, based on the camera angle, it looked like he punched through a blocker to sack the QB.
It was great to see him pull the Purdue QB (Brees?) to his doom with just his right arm.
for mentioning me. It was a thril when I booked about 80 yards down the sideline against OSU late in the 4th to seal the game.
Seriously. Weren't you a four-year starter? You certainly had keys plays in at least two victories over Ohio State (the kickoff return and game-winning catch in '88 as well as that 77-yard catch to seal the game in '85).
have yielded no mention of the original Tate:
Tate Schanski. #41. RB converted to S. one career TD at the stadium.
you stole mine!!! i was at the game when he scored his TD.
What's not to like about a 300 lb. fullback? I think he got kicked off the team though...not sure - maybe academic/weight issues. Didn't see him again after the 2002-2003 season.
Big RB who split time with other backs. He wasn't flashy, just solid. I loved the fact that he was from Buzzard's Bay, Massachusetts.
Might not be terribly obscure because he scored the first touchdown in Michigan Stadium, but I'd go with Kip Taylor. I believe it was his only TD too.
It didn't hurt that he was my friends grandfather either. Really nice guy.
For bonus hilarity, check out his Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kip_Taylor
"He was only 3 years old when he scored the 1st TD in Michigan Stadium, just goes to show the athlete he was. It is a fete that has not been duplicated since."
Calvin Bell Reverse
Early 80's running back famous for losing a cleat at the line of scrimmage then busting a 60 yd touchdown run.
Went to school with his sister and she would wear his Rose Bowl jersey.
Maybe the slowest return man ever to field a kick for Michigan.
I guess I don't know what you mean by obscure, but many of the players listed above were not obscure (most not even underrated).
Someone who may in years to come be considered obscure is Carlos Brown who ripped off a few hundred yard games, but (unless this year reverses that) never really played much.
Zion Babb was obscure this year. Was relatively unheralded out of high school, never really played under Lloyd and then suddenly appeared this year, only to disappear.
Alain Kashama maybe could be considered obscure. He had a few great games and then was otherwise completely off the grid.
Carl Tabb as the safety valve on the kickoff team. I have to say, though I realize he played during the Edwards-Avant-Breaston years, I never really got why Tabb didn't see more reps at WR. He had terrific speed, and when he did get out there I was never able to discern any obvious flaws that warranted keeping him as a permanent backup. I remember the '05 OSU game when Avant got hurt-- Tabb came in and I think had two really clutch third down grabs. Ann Arbor kid, as well.
Michigan has had some great receivers. I don't know that you can really argue that he deserved much more playing time, considering who he was behind. He might have been the unfortunate benefactor of some bad timing.
#2: The pride of Brighton, Clint Copenhaver.
#1: The guy with the perfect name for a Michigan athlete, Brandon Kornblue.
I'm a big Chris Floyd fan. I also liked watching Darnell Hood tear it up on kick coverages a few years ago - it seemed like he was in on every tackle.
Darnell Hood taught everything he knows to Zach Johnson.
Garvie Craw. He scored the first Michigan touchdown I ever saw.
Spencer Brinton or Leo Henige.
Spencer Brinton! For some reason, I always wanted to see him in the game.
I've said it before, http://mgoblog.com/content/who-your-favorite-michigan-football-player-al.... AJ is a great guy with a great story. The few times I've spoken to him he had great football stories, great college stories. Very personable dude. From a college extra-curriculars standpoint, I'd bet he's probably the last football player to be a Greek community member on campus to score a TD, let alone in the Rose Bowl. I'm pretty sure Lloyd didn't allow his players to rush.
from Blue Island, Illiois named Robert Thompson. The dude was SCARY fast around the OT. SCARY fast. He wouldn't tackle qb's, he would simply run through them. Don't remember the qb from Illinois, might've been Dave Wilson, but RT smoked his fucking ass so hard the stadium went quiet, and I mean right now.
The pride of Plymouth, Michigan. The only reason people would probably ever remember his is because (until Chad Henne), he was the only freshman QB to start against Ohio State. He was named the starter for the 1980 season, but was eventually replaced by John Wangler.
All of this happened before I was born. From when I've been alive, the foursome of Glen Steele, Ian Gold, Sam Sword, and Dhani Jones.
But they aren't all that obscure. Welborne was the best safety I ever saw in a Michigan uniform, and one of the best punt returners (3rd in career yards, 6th in avg. return). A very unfortunate injury ended is football career in his senior season.
Paul Girgash was just a great throw-back player from the past. Just plain tough and smart, back when Michigan had really good linebackers. He was a defensive captain and always had his shirt tail during the game.
If those two aren't obscure enough, I also liked Mike Jolly (S, 1976-1979). He wasn't the most skilled, but was always seemed to be in the right places, unlike our recent experience with safeties.
Hmmmm, all defensive players.
I remember the Texas A&M game when George Woodard, a humungous RB came into town, riding a #3 ranking, and we smoked them. 41-3 IIRC.
Jolly had a pick six in the 2nd half to wrap it up.
I wasn't that far off.
Those really were the days of Michigan football.
But as a whole, the game is much more competitive now. Back then, only a couple of teams on the entire schedule had anywhere near the talent Michigan had to stay in the game. Now, virtually all teams do.
But God, I really miss those smothering defenses. Some of the opposing offenses just looked like they didn't even want to take the field.
I ended up at A&M for grad school. Last season (2007) I went to Buffalo Wild Wings here in College Station at 11AM to catch one of the Big Ten Network games. A&M was playing a 6PM game, so I had plenty of time to catch both. The place was pretty deserted so I got to talking to the guy at the next table who said that he was staying at the hotel next door and was letting his wife and kids sleep in while catching the early game. I mentioned that I was from Michigan and he told me all about going up there and having A&M get slaughtered. It turned out that it was David Walker, the A&M QB and he was in town for his 30th reunion. Really cool guy.
Thats one of my favorite quotes from some tv guy a while back, I forget who. I'm definitely a Kevin Dudley fan, he was a really good blocker, too bad he never got to score that touchdown.
Daydrion Taylor who ended his career (and a penn state players career) on this hit...
Good call on Taylor. That was such a big game and that hit really set the tone for that game. It's too bad it ended his career.
He was a career backup at QB who had a long touchdown run against Wisconsin in 1977 when I was 11. He did get some playing time in 1979 when Rick Leach graduated before Bo settled on Wangler (and Hewlett to start the Ohio State game).
Unfortunately he was mostly a running quarterback so he had a mostly miserable game against North Carolina in the Gator Bowl after Wangler went down (one touchdown against two picks).
Dickey, Hewlett and Chris Zurbrugg (1984) were not among my favorite Michigan QB's.
...were I not at that 1977 Wisconsin game where he had the big TD run. That Gator Bowl was not a happy day, though.
I'm pretty sure you're right about that being Taylor. I don't know why Bo didn't play Hewlett in the Gator Bowl, since he was presumably at least marginally better than Dickey. I assume Hewlett was hurt.
Marquise Walker fan when i was a little kid. Does he count as obscure enough?
IIRC, he was M's all time receptions leader until Braylon broke his record a few years later.
Man, when people refer to players from 6 years ago as guys they liked "when they were little", it freaks me out.
maybe he was around when i was in high school then. but i remember him being there when i was in middle school for some reason.
And upon looking it up, he started his Michigan career 11 years ago in the 1998 season. So I was 11 when he joined the team.
Marquise Walker fan when i was a little kid. Does he count as obscure enough?
No. He was very prominent in his time at M.
Obscure? Yep... and has one of the best stories out there:
2 reasons: he had the pick in the end-zone in 1997 that preserved the defenses 4th quarter scoreless streak (the starters had been pulled, and Sparty was driving on our 2nd string defense).
Also, I played intramural hoops against him several times, and all he did was throw down alley-oops.
Good call. DiAllo really took one for the team by switching positions twice (from QB to safety, then to WR). He looked like he might emerge as a real playmaking WR but then tore his ACL and didn't play much as a senior. Oh well.
I love it when people bring up a player that I'd almost forgotten about.
My favorite Michigan player is already obscure enough (Walter Smith), but I'll go with Marc Milia. I came in contact with him a few times at U of M Hospital and he was very down to earth. I believe he turned out to be a surgeon. That's pretty awesome. (Suck it Harbaugh).
frolicking in my mom's flower garden and mike hart & chad henne led M to a win over UF in the Cap one bowl.
Not sure many will know him...
Perhaps Alex Marshall...
Swivelhips Filburt, 1927, 4th string running back
First off, great name. Second, few remember he wore the #1 jersey. And third, his drop over the middle against Virginia probably saved us the game as he wouldn't have scored and the time would have ran out.
He's not really that obscure, but my favorite player is Chris Howard, tailback for the 97 National Championship team. I was still in the fourth grade in CT when I flew out to Ann Arbor with my dad to visit an old family friend and take in the Michigan-Notre Dame game that year. I had the opportunity to tour Schembechler Hall, during which I bumped into Chris; he was very cool, shook my hand - he was great. Plus, his taste in women is well documented.
My other not-really-that-obscure Michigan favorite also hails from that team - Tai Streets.
Good topic. Nice back story on Jefferson. (IIRC)There used to be a picture of him in Wolverine uniform in the halls of DLS. I'd assume it is still there.
And how has no one said Antonio Bass yet?
Does Bass really qualify as obscure? He was universally considered a future star before he got hurt. If he entered obscurity, it was only because he couldn't play.
My choice: Darnell Hood. Came in as a blue-chip RB, then switched to safety, but never really panned out. He accepted his role as a special-teams player and became a very good gunner.
More underappreciated than obscure but Mike Hammerstein, Steve Smith and basically every fullback ever, e.g. Hoard, Bunch, Floyd, Perryman, Legette. Also, why doesn't anyone know about Jim Smith?
Gotta love them hard-nosed blocking fullbacks.