Legends Numbers

Submitted by Ali G Bomaye on August 27th, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Two legends numbers worn last season have opened up, as Jeremy Gallon (21) and Courtney Avery (11) graduated.  Any speculation as to who might be assigned these numbers during this season?  And any thoughts on whether any new legends numbers will be created?

As random speculation, I see James Ross, Raymon Taylor, Matt Wile, Brennen Beyer, and Jarrod Wilson as the most likely candidates for #11 or #21.  I could also see the athletic department creating a new #77 legends number for Jansen/Long so that one of the numbers is available to a lineman (currently they're all eligible receiver numbers, so an offensive lineman can't wear any of them).

Also, I know that Blake Countess has switched to 2 this year - is that a legends jersey for Woodson, or just a random switch?



August 27th, 2014 at 2:53 PM ^

Hoke has said that number 2 will go to the best DB.  I figure it will soon be a Legends Jersey but we have to wait for Sir Charles' playing career to come to a conclusion first.

Gentleman Squirrels

August 27th, 2014 at 3:05 PM ^

I hope they don't do anything with the numbers. Anyone who wants to wear 21 or 11 can do so when they come in as freshmen and make their own legacy with it. Players shouldn't be encouraged to switch just so that we can have them on the field. At the end of the day the numbers don't matter. Its who wears it that makes all the difference.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:46 PM ^

Fully agree. No reason a freshman can't get a "Lagacy Jersey." Don't force it on upperclassman. If they want to switch go ahead. They don't need to be given out every year. It shouldn't even be an honor to wear it. The only reason for the Legacy jersey should be to honor to player whom they retired that number for. The guy doesn't matter who is wearing it. The sole reason for them is so that when [insert player here] catches a pass, or is sitting on sidelines and a camera catches a glance, so that camera can stop on the number for a second and remember the great who once wore it. 

If the reason for unretiring the numbers is so we don't forget the greats in our past, stop overshadowing the importance of those players by fretting over who should wear it, or who deserves it. If anyone deserves the winged helmet and maize pants, they sure as hell deserve the number.

Just don't give out 98 again.

Wolverine Devotee

August 27th, 2014 at 3:55 PM ^

Who remembers when Raymom wore #21? He wore it for 3 games his freshman year. He even wore a patchless #21 in the win over EMU. That happened AFTER #21 became a Legend number. Kinda crazy. He changed to #6 the next game when the coaches realized the gaffe.


August 27th, 2014 at 2:58 PM ^

If I had to pick a 21, it'd probably be Chesson. Team player, possible/probable break-out year for him.

James Ross getting 11 would be kind of cool since all our LBs will be wearing legends numbers.

SF Wolverine

August 27th, 2014 at 2:59 PM ^

until someone has earned it on the field.  Let a lineman completely blow up this year -- please -- and perhaps get it toward the end of the year.  Lots of guys in the running for #21; let's see someone separate (pun intended) and earn the right to wear that number.


August 27th, 2014 at 2:59 PM ^

I'm so freaking confused by these Legends numbers and how they are given out I've given up trying to understand it. What I don't get is if a player from the past is great enough to have their jersey retired then leave the damn thing retired and don't play this random player de jour allottment of legend numbers every year.  I have no clue what number players are or were and if we should be honoring the current player, the past player or the future player when they dole them out again.

As stupid as it seemed at the time - Service & Freedom on the back of the Air Force jersey's were easier to figure out than this nonsense.  I think there's a reason we are the ONLY school fucking with our retired numbers in the manner we do.  It's stupid.


August 27th, 2014 at 8:45 PM ^

It creates logistical issues. If we keep making legend numbers, we'll run out of numbers to hand out to kids if we did your idea. I mean, if we did that, the legend numbers would have to be basically retired except for those honorary games (which would negate the entire purpose of the legends jerseys to begin with).


August 27th, 2014 at 5:54 PM ^

is that this is a clever end-around to the idea of selling jerseys without the players profiting from it: you can always claim the jersey for sale isn't the jersey of Devin Gardner, current player, but of Tom Harmon, Legend. Thus, you can argue that Gardner doesn't necessarily deserve a cut of the jersey sale profits and/or that he isn't being exploited personally when the #98 jersey just happens to be the one they're selling a lot of while he's wearing it. If this cynical view has truth to it, then expect legends jerseys to to whichever players the AD thinks will sell the most jerseys in a given year.

What argues against cynicism here is that Courtney Avery was never going to sell a lot of #11 jerseys, but he did deserve to be honored by his coach and teammates for his leadership and his willingness to do whatever the team needed from him.

But I agree with you mGrow; in general I'm confused too. Seems like a great idea if you hand out one or two. When there's 10 of them and  2-4 of them might change hands each year, it becomes more confusing than clever.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:03 PM ^

I'd prefer not to fill those jerseys this year. 

I could see Canteen as the next #21.  And I think we'd all agree who we want to see wear #2 after Countess.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

Legends numbers make me schizo.  My Smeagol thinks they're cool to honor past studs and reinforce the tradition that really separates UM from 98% of the rest, but then my Golem thinks they're lame by depriving new players the ability to make their mark with their own numbers.

We eats it whole.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:20 PM ^

Yes, I think we need to reevaluate how the numbers are given out. For one, they DO NOT need to be given out every damn season! That's ridiculous.

I think we shouldn't give the 21 or 11 out until next year..Let's wait out this season and see if anyone deserves to wear it.

There just needs to be some kind of process to the whole thing.

Wolverine Devotee

August 27th, 2014 at 3:39 PM ^

No coincidence that we're on our 20 minute break now and this thread pops up.

I think if the Legend numbers will be awarded, it will be tomorrow. I said I could see Funchess to #21 since he's a WR and Butt to #87 since the coaches have a position group in mind for each number. I think Wilson to #11 and Chesson or Darboh to #21. I just can't see them taking Funch out of #87. That number looks great on him and he's in all the promotional posters in #87.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:39 PM ^

numbers issue all along and have reached the point where I don't like it. The number 1 jersey for the top receiver is fine, but any other should just be a patch. If a player is good enough to earn a legend number, maybe he is good enough to create one himself.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

Legends jerseys should be worn once per season, during the homecoming game.  Just that one game.  The players should wear their normal numbers for the rest of the season.

I fucking hate these legends jerseys.  I was looking forward to Gallon establishing the number 10 along with Gardner's #12 & Funchess' #19.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

The easiest thing DB could do would be to let the "legends" numbering begin to disappear.  He doesn't have to make an announcement; he doesn't have to do anything and his jersey-cluttering stunt can be forgotten in time.  Who knows, maybe a current player will become a legend in his own number.

Wolverine Devotee

August 27th, 2014 at 3:43 PM ^

What's really gonna be interesting is seeing who gets #98 next year. I hope it's Derrick Green so people will flip out but then I don't because 27 is his number. It's perfect for him.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:44 PM ^

Of Legends "patches" to be worn by existing players. I alos like the idea of that player honoring the former legend by wearing their number for ONE GAME. That would allow the best of both worlds to come through imo. I think they should let Peppers run with #5 his whole career.


August 27th, 2014 at 3:51 PM ^

I'm so anti legend patch it's not even funny.  Let these kids create their own legend.  

Example:  Jabrill Peppers #5 instead of #2.  We will remember Jabrill for Jabrill and Charles for Charles.  

Perkis-Size Me

August 27th, 2014 at 4:03 PM ^

Why do we feel the need to hand out all the jerseys every year? If we're going to do these legends jerseys, make the players earn them. If no one on the team has earned a legends jersey, then don't give the number out. And if a player underperforms or has off the field issues, take the jersey away.

Personally I'd rather do away with legends jerseys, as I'd rather let our current players forge their own legacies with their own numbers. Plus, there will never be another Woodson, Harmon, Howard, Oosterbann, etc. But if we're going to do legends jerseys, don't feel the need to hand them all out each year. If no one has earned the right to wear ol' 98 next year, then don't give it out. Same goes for each other legends number.

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August 27th, 2014 at 4:20 PM ^

Give it to freshmen if they want it. I don't think they should be 'earned', otherwise we'd have a lot of players switching numbers toward the end of their careers.