Just got in a lunchtime argument with a significantly older alum about who the best linebacker to ever play for Michigan is. One qualifier, can't count LaMarr Woodley. He was an end. Feel free to offer forth your opinions.
Best Michigan Linebacker ever?
Jarrett Irons is still the school's all time career tackling leader.
However for Personality and over all Michigan Man - I'm still a huge Larry Foote fan.
ill always like David Harris
What about the old timers. The guy I was arguing with tried to pull Ron Simpkins and Calvin O'Neal out of the bag. They are the 4th and 10th highest on the career tackles list at Michigan.
Could also argue our only Butkus Award winner Erick Anderson who is #2 on career tackles list and, as I stated, has the only Butkus Award in UM history.
Started all 4 years under Bo and then played for the Bengals. He was the only 4 year starting Linebacker I can recall. Erick Anderson would be my second choice.
Good call, Simpkins was really good. Erick Anderson was one of the toughest LBs UM has ever had. Another old school pick would be John Anderson. He played OLB so his tackle totals aren't as high, but he was an all-american who also had a decent pro career. Real good player.
Erick Anderson was a beast. He was the epitome of a linebacker and was as good of a tackler as I ever saw.
Also, didn't Trevor Pryce play DE? He played there at Clemson and in the NFL.
John Anderson also punted as I recall. Funny seeing a big linebacker with the multibar facemask making punts.
3rd all-time in tackles for the Wolverines, plus he was on the 1997 nc team.
with Ian Gold. I can't help but wonder if he was just a bit before his time when it comes to playing LB at Michigan. He seems to fit the current mold of smallish, fast, and athletic as opposed to the older dinosaur mold. I think he would be a monster in the current scheme. He was still darn good anyway.
Disclaimer...I was a freshman in '97, so my knowledge only goes back really to the mid to early 90s.
Victor Hobson did have a great name.
Defense Career Top 20 'Tackles'
# Name Tack Ast Tot TFL Yds Sack Yds PBU FR FF From To
1 Jarrett Irons 296 133 429 107 64 19 4 4 1993 1996
2 Erick Anderson 286 104 390 87 40 6 4 1 1988 1991
3 Sam Sword 265 105 370 24.0 88 5.0 33 5 3 3 1995 1998
4 Ron Simpkins 262 153 415 141 19 11 7 3 1976 1979
5 Steve Morrison 220 95 315 43 8 8 3 1 1990 1994
6 Mike Boren 212 120 332 19 0 5 2 2 1980 1983
7 Mike Mallory 211 110 321 35 21 12 4 2 1982 1985
8 Paul Girgash 206 146 352 34 14 10 1 1 1979 1982
9 Victor Hobson 205 72 277 41.0 155 14.5 80 4 2 4 1999 2002
10 Calvin O'Neal 180 145 325 45 0 16 0 4 1974 1976
11 Curtis Greer 179 88 267 212 59 3 3 2 1976 1979
12 Andy Cannavino 175 114 289 49 3 10 4 2 1977 1980
13 Mark Messner 173 75 248 335 242 2 5 4 1985 1988
14 Garland Rivers 172 61 233 19 10 11 1 2 1983 1986
15 Andy Moeller 170 91 261 40 23 3 3 1 1983 1986
16 James Grant 165 67 232 56 32 14 5 1 1986 1989
Dhani Jones 165 82 247 33.0 128 12.0 81 3 0 1 1996 1999
18 Gregory Morton 162 106 268 117 0 3 3 1 1974 1976
19 Tom Hendricks 156 66 222 14.0 59 2.0 12 12 1 2 1996 1999
20 Tripp Welborne 153 74 227 50 30 8 2 3 1987 1990
dude was a beast... and he had a great stache
He's a DT.
Check out this picture of him though. BEAST!!!
Look at the number of TFLs that Foote had in 2001. He was third in the nation, with 26- a Michigan record. Was also BigTen defensive player of the year.
Yo, Jarrett Irons, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Sam Sword was one of the best Michigan linebackers of all time! Of all time!
I second the Sam Sword vote. That guy dominated in the middle, and he was an intimidating force in his junior and senior years.
He didn't stay but ....Trevor Pryce
Ridiculous linebacker name. When I think of Michigan defenses of the '90s, Irons is the first name to come to mind after Woodson.
Maybe it's because I was young and wasn't as aware of mistakes, but Irons was a beast and seemed to always make the right play. Better than Gold, Foote, Sword, etc.
Anderson and Steve Morrison are up there too. For anyone who's actually watched Michigan football for more than a decade, I think Irons is the clear winner.
Irons was great, too. Steve Morrison was good.
Simpkins was before my time.
Sword, Jones, Gold Hobson, Foote and Harris? I like them all, but hard to put those guys in the "greatest of all time" debate unless your only frame of reference is 1997 on. That said, my frame of reference is 1987 on, so who am I to talk.
Dhani fuckin Jones. The bow tie speaks for itself.
Gotta agree. Besides the bow tie, we've got the hair, the creative writing major, the pre-med classes, all adding up to one of the most unique guys to step on the field. And a great hitter!
he just never missed tackles and made a shitload of them....i am hoping just a bit of his football IQ could rub off on this year's LB corps....as he was a genius and a badass mo-fo all bundled into one...
Does Wolfback count as linebacker?
I like Larry Foote in recent years.
Not a game most of us want to see - the '95 loss to Northwestern - but it's Woodson's freshman year and a lot of other good ones are in there too. Irons, Steele, Swett, Feazill, Tim B., Riemersma, Toomer, Mercury, etc.
edit: forgot Rod Payne. Man what an "All Name" defense. Can you imagine having to go against a D with guys named (phonetically) Iron, Steel, Pain, and Sweat?? Killer.
The best I've ever seen is David Harris. Note, I am a young wolverine so I can't really say hes the greatest of all time.
not really in best ever category, but in that 06 season, he was a monster. Fast to the ball and he put people down. Oh to have someone like Harris in the middle now ...
I can't believe we're all forgetting Jonas Mouton.
very tough. hard to separate anderson, irons and morrison as pure run stuffers. foote, although great from sideline to sideline, would get blown out a lot on runs up the middle. david harris, imo, was the most underrated LB i ever saw.
No linebacker represents the school better then Foote. I love his attitude, true blue inside and out.
Larry Foote is the best I've seen in my adult life. He was everywhere his senior season, and always seemed to be making a huge play or TFL.
David Harris is a close second, especially since he's a Grand Rapids native.