2000 Michigan Roster - most NFL players of all time?

Submitted by michiganfanforlife on May 7th, 2012 at 9:49 PM

So I'm watching the replay of the Michigan vs. Alabama 2000 bowl game, and I'm blown away with how many of our guys from this roster played in the NFL. Is it the most star studded team in the history of our program? My criteria is simply how many guys played in the NFL vs other UM rosters. I will list all the guys I can remember, and it's up to you mgoexperts to find guys I'm missing and maybe another team that had even more.

In no particular order...

Tom Brady, Steve Hutchinson, Anthony Thomas, Jeff Backus, David Terrel, Ian Gold, Rob Renes, Josh WIlliams, James Hall, David Baas, Justin Fargas, Drew Henson, Chris Perry, Larry Foote, John Navarre, Cato June, Marquise Walker ,BJ Askew, Bennie Joppru, Shantee Orr, Victor Hobson

That's 21 by my count, and that's even more than I expected.... thoughts?

Comments

massblue

May 7th, 2012 at 9:56 PM ^

The entire front 7 played briefly in NFL.  That is scary.  Most of the OL played with three of them still playing.  That team should have won the national championship.  That fact that it did not, is it a reflection of bad coaching, bad luck, or opponents who were even better?  Sadly, coaching was the most important factor.

stephenrjking

May 8th, 2012 at 12:47 AM ^

I've thought about a diary to examine what went wrong in the 00's, but it's rather complex to break down. The coordinator issue is part of it, though; unfortunately, people were so dazzled with the job Jim Hermann did with Mattison's players in '97 that his shortcomings were overlooked for years. Lloyd basically had the same philosophy Tressel did, but Tressel's defenses were much more consistent.

Still, it could have worked if the offense was more consistent. Some years, like 2001, the talent was in question. Remember who was the second-leading receiver in '01 after Marquise Walker? That's right, Bill Seymour with 25 catches. Rushing leader? BJ Askew fronting a mediocre unit that was never, ever game-changing. And redshirt sophomore John Navarre was not ready to lead a team with no tools.

What's galling is that this team lost only one more game than Carr's loaded '03 squad.

funkywolve

May 8th, 2012 at 1:52 AM ^

The interesting thing with 2001 is if Henson comes back, there's a good chance UM would have played Miami in the NC game.  Their 3 losses were:  @ Washington where after controlling the game for the first 50 minutes they are getting ready to kick a field goal to put them up by 9 only to watch UW block it for a TD and intercept a swing pass that bounced off the rb's hands for a TD, @MSU - clock gate and OSU where Navarre and the team laid a complete egg in the first half.

funkywolve

May 8th, 2012 at 1:52 AM ^

The interesting thing with 2001 is if Henson comes back, there's a good chance UM would have played Miami in the NC game.  Their 3 losses were:  @ Washington where after controlling the game for the first 50 minutes they are getting ready to kick a field goal to put them up by 9 only to watch UW block it for a TD and intercept a swing pass that bounced off the rb's hands for a TD, @MSU - clock gate and OSU where Navarre and the team laid a complete egg in the first half.

morepete

May 8th, 2012 at 1:54 AM ^

No evidence whatsoever he would ever live up to his hype. Maybe the outcome of OSU is different, but the losses to Washington and MSU were fluky enough that a change in quarterback would make no impact. Also, I'm reasonably sure that Miami would have torched Michigan if they got there. The defense had gotten pretty dire by this era, as highlighted by Northwestern 54, Michigan 51 the year before.

stephenrjking

May 8th, 2012 at 9:04 AM ^

Henson was already living up to the hype; still the last Michigan QB to win in Columbus, and none of the losses in 2000 were the fault of the magnificent offense he was piloting. Navarre was genuinely lost that season, I have no doubt that Henson would have flipped at least two losses.

The MSU game would not have come down to an extra second of the offense hadn't gone to sleep for the entire second half until the last drive. I left the stadium that day thinking, mostly, that Michigan had looked like garbage yet still almost pulled out the win. A lot of our games went that way that year. I actually think Michigan did about as well as it could have with that roster.

The defense was indeed a weak point, though. The Citrus Bowl proved that.

snarling wolverine

May 8th, 2012 at 5:33 PM ^

Maybe the outcome of OSU is different, but the losses to Washington and MSU were fluky enough that a change in quarterback would make no impact.

I don't understand this logic at all. Navarre didn't play well in any of those games, which greatly reduced our margin for error - and then the fluky plays cost us. With a superstar at QB (and Henson was really good - I'm not sure why you think otherwise), those games shouldn't have been close.

Jasper

May 8th, 2012 at 6:05 AM ^

No personal disrespect intended, funkywolve, but your post reminds me of the people who credit Lloyd with two national championships.

That's right, two. It goes something like this:

* 1997 (Ahhh ... pleasant memories.)

* 2006: Were it not for Crable's poorly timed hit, UM would have played Florida and, of course, won, since they beat them the next year! (Please ignore that Florida lost an entire defensive line in the '07 draft: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/history/college/FL)

Need it be said that's Lloyd's get-out-of-jail-free card will always be that last wonderful game? It overshadows the Appalachian State and Oregon debacles in the minds of his most ardent supporters.

Jasper

May 8th, 2012 at 5:57 AM ^

LLOYD CARR WON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!! (Exclamation ...)

YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!! (Guilt trip ...)

and ...

HE'S DONE MORE FOR MICHIGAN FOOTBALL THAN YOU EVER WILL!!! (Put-down ...)

- - -

Yeah, </not serious>.

But seriously, I'm glad that this 'blog is a place where Lloyd's later years can be thoughtfully and politely analyzed (at least by some).

jmblue

May 8th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

That team had one weakness: cornerback.  William Peterson (now William James, he of the long NFL career) was groomed to be the guy there but got kicked off the team in the offseason.  Without him we got destroyed by Plaxico Burress in the State game.  We were really good as it was, but with Peterson we would have been national-title good.

dothepose

May 7th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

I actually think the Big Ten was the cream of the crop that year. Wisconsin, Ohio State, MSU, all the teams were extremely good that year.

stephenrjking

May 7th, 2012 at 11:20 PM ^

The SEC championship game featured an Alabama-Florida rematch of a brilliant game from earlier in the season.

The participants lost to Michigan and Michigan State, respectively. Wisconsin won the Rose Bowl. The B1G was easily the best in the country.

And while Michigan's loss to Illinois was awful, that Illinois team was pretty good--and near comeback or no, that Michigan State team was outstanding. The loss was not a fluke.

I think '99 was Carr's second best season, both in results and in getting the most out of the team.

Alumnus93

May 7th, 2012 at 10:02 PM ^

that OL rivals the 1993 year with  Everitt, Cocozzo, Skene, Doherty, Elliott, Trezelle Jenkins, and a few others that slip my mind, that all played in the NFL.

samsoccer7

May 7th, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

Cool story bro moment:  I was at that game in the front row in the corner of the endzone (the endzone with Alabama written).  The players celebrated in front of us and we got some oranges, couple receiver gloves, and a towel or two.  I was watching the game this evening on BTN and even got a screenshot of my friends and I!  Pretty awesome.

Anyway, what an awesome game.  The announcer mentioned that Alabama's run D was rated so highly b/c nobody ran the ball well enough in the SEC :)  Guess they didn't have the SEC speed back then huh?  Also, I never remembed Shaun Alexander's jersey saying "SU. ALEXANDER"  Had I known that I would've called him Su instead of Shaun for the rest of his career.

Also, Marcus Knight was choosing btw Alabama and Michigan for his school, and I believe Su Alexander also almost chose Michigan.  Interesting tidbit...

stephenrjking

May 7th, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

The SEC SPEED meme was alive and well (and as dumb as ever) that year. It was around then I started yelling "WHERE'S THE SPEED????" at the TV when a B1G Team would demonstrate good speed or athleticism against a "fast" team.

Watch the '97 UM-OSU game again, and note the absurd level of NFL talent on the field. Not slow talent, either. When Michigan and OSU have appropriate levels of talent, they take a back seat to nobody.

Commie_High96

May 7th, 2012 at 10:40 PM ^

Harvey for IL showing what trouble a little supercharged skatback can do, makes me even more psyched for Dennis. Also, was this the year of he magic clock at MSU?

Michael Scarn

May 7th, 2012 at 11:28 PM ^

Not sure if the question applies just to Michigan teams, but I give you the 2001 Miami Hurricanes:

Ken Dorsey, Clinton Portis, Najeh Davenport, Frank Gore, Willis Mcgahee, Andre Johnson, Roscoe Parrish, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow Jr., Bryant McKinnie, Vernon Carey, Jerome McDougal, Vince Wilfork, Jonathan Vilma, D.J Williams, Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Mike Rumph, Antrel Rolle, Phillip Buchanon, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few players who were drafted that didn't really pan out. I don't see that team being trumped, ever.

stephenrjking

May 8th, 2012 at 12:40 AM ^

People forget how amazing it was that they lost to Ohio State. They were snubbed in 2000 (beat FSU but passed over anyway, only loss to a Rose Bowl-winning Washington team in Seattle) and looked like a real threat to beat Oklahoma's win streak.

And an OSU team we coulda/woulda/shoulda beat punched them in the mouth. An all-time upset.