Future Michigan Football Legends Criteria?

Submitted by HELLE on December 23rd, 2012 at 2:43 AM

Since Desmond became a Michigan Football Legend at last year's UTL, I have been thinking about how future players would be deemed worthy of Legend status. I turned to the College Football Hall of Fame for insight on their criteria for election into the Hall. My thought was that this would give us a good size group to choose from given that we already have 30 players elected. This is the first criteria:

  • All of the current Legends qualify under this criteria except for Ford (I think we can give Presidents a pass on this one).

    Here is the list of First Team All-Americans:


    1 Paul Goebel, Anthony Carter, Derrick Alexander, David Terrell, Braylon Edwards
    2 Jack Blott, Charles Woodson
    3 Tripp Welborne, Marlin Jackson
    4 Jim Harbaugh, Marquise Walker
    6 Harry Kipke, Dave Brown
    7 Rick Leach
    11 Francis Wistert, Albert Wistert, Alvin Wistert
    13 Garland Rivers
    15 Frank Culver
    16 Denard Robinson
    17 Ted Petoskey, Larry Foote
    18 Chalmers Elliott
    19 Robert Brown, Remy Hamilton
    21 Desmond Howard
    22 Ty Law
    23 Chris Perry
    24 Jack Clancy, Butch Woolfolk
    25 Tom Edwards, Tom Curtis, Ernest Shazor
    27 Benny Friedman, Charles Bernard
    28 Robert Timberlake
    29 Leon Hall
    30 Harry Hawkins, Brad Cochran
    32 Edliff Slaughter
    33 Mike Taylor
    35 Thom Darden, Don Dufek
    36 Ralph Heikkinen
    37 Jim Smith, Erick Anderson, Jarrett Irons
    39 Henry Hill
    40 Ron Johnson, Ron Simpkins
    41 Randy Logan, Rob Lytle
    42 Billy Taylor
    43 James Pace
    45 William Daley, Pete Elliott
    46 Harry Newman
    47 Bennie Oosterbaan
    49 Robert Chappuis, Richard Volk
    50 Otto Pommerening, David Molk
    52 Rod Payne
    56 LaMarr Woodley
    57 Maynard Morrison
    58 Rob Renes
    59 George Lilja
    60 Mark Donahue, Mark Messner
    63 Julius Franks
    65 Reggie McKenzie, Kurt Becker
    66 Mike Hammerstein
    67 Mervin Pregulman, John Vitale
    68 Joe Cocozzo
    69 Tom Dixon, Matt Elliott, Jon Runyan
    70 Marty Huff
    71 Dave Gallagher
    72 Allen Wahl, Dan Dierdorf, Walt Downing, Ed Muransky, John Elliott
    73 Bill Dufek
    75 William Yearby, William Paris, Greg Skrepenak, David Baas
    76 Stefan Humphries, Steve Hutchinson
    77 Arthur Walker, Paul Seymour, Jon Jansen, Jake Long, Taylor Lewan
    78 Dean Dingman
    80 Jerame Tuman
    81 Glen Steele
    83 Bennie Joppru
    85 Lowell Perry
    86 Robert Westfall, John Anderson
    87 Edward Frutig, Ronald Kramer
    88 Elmer Madar, Jim Mandich
    89 Richard Rifenburg
    94 Jason Horn
    95 Curtis Greer
    96 Calvin O'Neal, William Carr
    97 Chris Hutchinson
    98 Tom Harmon

    Obviously this list is plenty long enough for multiple lifetimes of Michigan Football Legends Ceremonies, but using this criteria, can you really keep Michigan's All-Time leading rusher (Mike Hart) from getting a patch? I guess the real question is how do we separate a great player from a Michigan Legend?

    At least the next two (after Harmon) are pretty easy in my opinion. Anthony Carter (three time first team All America) and Charles Woodson (Heisman). The hard part will be trying to find someone to wear those numbers, given what Hoke has already said about them being special. It should be fun.


    An Angelo's Addict

    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:13 AM ^

    I'm still curious about the creation of truly "new" michigan football legends since every player that has the potential will be given one of these numbers correct? Since we just started this last year will Denard be the last number he wore on his own that could be become a legend?


    December 23rd, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

    Possibly, but the way I see it, the jerseys have been given to only very good players.  Perhaps in the future if a standout player has a real shot of becoming a Legend, he'll keep his normal jersey number.  As to your final question, Denard, as much as I love him, will not have his jersey become part of the Legends program.


    December 23rd, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

    contribution that is revered over time and not merely a set of achievements?

    In essence, I think it boils down to a group of people deciding a player has made a momentous contribution to the reputation of UM football.

    Here is the hard question: does/can Tom Brady achieve Legend status if his NFL career continues for 5 more illustrious years and he sets a bunch of records?

    Wolverine Devotee

    December 23rd, 2012 at 4:34 PM ^

    The #1 jersey needs a patch with ANTHONY CARTER'S name on it. He was a 3-time all-american. There are only 2 3-timers in school history. Other one is Oosterbaan.

    And they need to get rid of the criteria of #1 going to the best WR. Give to the best player who shows leadership.

    46 also needs to be a Legends number for Harry Newman. He won the Fairbanks Award his senior season which was the Heisman before the Heisman.


    December 23rd, 2012 at 5:31 PM ^

    Ugh, the more I think about this, the worse it gets.

    I will always remember Jordan Kovacs as #32, regardless of what Legends number he is given.

    Basically, we have a cycle of preventing a player from becoming his own legend.

    1. Player starts with a number

    2. Player gets good

    3. Player becomes great

    4. Player is given someone else's number

    5. Player does not have chance to earn his own "legend" status.

    Unless they add names to numbers (and for godssake make the patch smaller and much more obscure).


    December 23rd, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

    I would hope they wouldn't switch his number. I think they should give them out to freshman. Then we will see the numbers make their way onto the field through the years. Also the odds of one of the becoming a legend is so small it might never happen, but if it does.... great.


    December 23rd, 2012 at 6:47 PM ^

    If I remember correctly, Brandon's goal with the "legends" program was to get the old numbers back in circulation not to look for opportunities to get more numbers into legend status. Because of this, a player will darn near have to walk on water to get there number legendified. That is after #1 and #2 are legendified.


    December 23rd, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

    the term legend implies a rare level that only a few people can achieve over time.  the person would have to stand the test of time.

    the retired numbers qualify, likely heisman trophy winners as well.

    the idea that kovacs (a great person and decent safety), would be a legend is hard to swallow.  hart was good and gained lots of yard but is he even a top 5, top 10 michigan rb of all time?  the little brother quote was legendary, though

    woodson's legend continues to grow every year-- he seems like a legend. we all wanted brady benched for henson--nfl hall of fame-yes    michigan legend- i doubt it.

    if there are more than 10 or 12 legends -the term would become meaningless.


    December 23rd, 2012 at 10:14 PM ^

    Be careful, HELLE: only THE_KNOWLEDGE is allowed to look into the future.  All others who presume to do so are subject to severe temporal anomalies.  

    Dutch Ferbert

    December 24th, 2012 at 9:42 AM ^

    In my opinion, the only two that deserve a patch who I've seen play are AC and  Woodson. I was born in the mid 70s but started going to games before I can remember. Carter was just a man among boys and gave Bo no choice but the throw the ball, and Woodson's Heisman season was the most incredible displays of football I have ever seen.

    There have many great players during the nearly 40 years I've been on this planet, but these two are the only ones that I still marvel at (even more so than Desmond).


    December 26th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

    I think fans are making too big of a deal about new legends making a number for themselves.

    1. Anyone offered a legends jersey can turn it down. They don't just hand you the jersey in front of everyone out of no where, and make you look like a jerk for turning it down. Hoke has discussions with the players behind closed doors. If someone wants to have their own number immortalized, I highly doubt we would ever hear that they turned down a legends jersey.

    2. The players want a legends Jersey. Braylon asked for number 1, and Carr made him prove it on the field before giving it to him. It is an honor to wear these jerseys for the players. Why did Junior Hemmingway wear 21? I am sure he wanted to honor Desmond even before the legends patch came about.

    3. As the long list above shows, we have a lot of legends with a wide variety of numbers. Even if the legends jerseys didn't exist, wearing number 2 in the secondary will always make us think Charles Woodson first and foremost. It doesn't matter how good the player turns out. Same goes for 77 and Jake Long, or 20 for Mike Hart. Maybe I was to young & naive, but seeing Michael Shaw run around the backfeild with the number 20 on, made me think he had some upside. Adding a legends patch just makes it official that we are recognizing the talents of this athlete to live up to the expectations of the legend(s) who wore that number before him.


    December 28th, 2012 at 3:02 PM ^


    I would like to see a list of All Americans by number of selections.  I would be very hesitant to award legend status to those who only had one selection unless they won a major award.  The only ones who I can think of that I would say should be definites are the Heisman winners and Carter.  I would like to see a 30 year waiting period in which the number is in use as a regular number before legendizing it.  This provides the time necessary to understand the legacy of the player rather than making a too quick emotional decision such as making Denard a legend.   If the player wins the Heisman, I would reduce the waiting period to ten years to ensure they don't make a fool of themselves.