Settling the #1 Jersey Debate

Submitted by Wolvmarine on October 7th, 2010 at 3:16 PM

This topic has probably been done before but after reading the number1jerseydenard thread, I felt further clairification was needed on the issue as far as the facts are concerned, because many replying to that thread did not know the issue.  I apoligize also if an MgoPoster has already replied in the thread regarding this issue.  My intent is to educate and not to be redundant. 

The #1 Jersey for decades has only been worn by a Wide Receiver.  Wearing it was something that was very important to Braylon Edwards when he came in and not only did he spend two years earning it, he had to keep it.  Lloyd publically stated that it would be possible for Edwards to wear #1 one week and #80 then next.  Meaning he would lose it.

After Edwards left Michigan he sent up a scholarship fund for the #1 Jersey at Michigan.  Basically, this protected the positional association of the number to the Wide Receiver position.

There are a few basic qualifications for a WR to meet in order to obtain the coveted #1 Jersey.

1.  Player is Selected by the Coaching staff

2.  No Freshman

3. GPA

4.  Off the field conduct.

Braylon Edwards is involved in the fate of the #1 Jersey, and because of the amount of money he donates to the University, he probably has some say in who wears it.  When Rich Rod came in he tried to give it to JT Floyd, Edwards was publically outraged at this.  This also means Rich Rod will not give it away to just any WR.  The WR that I see wearing it next is Ricardo Miller.  Miller has publically stated he wants to wear it.  He will spend this year and his redshirt freshman year trying to earn it and if he does he will wear it 2 years from now.  If Ricardo or another WR doesn't do what is required to wear it, then it will stay on the shelf. 


Here are my sources for the information.



October 7th, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

No, I think Roy has a legitimate shot to earn it.  It depends on his performance off the field and I don't know the exact requirements the coaches are looking for as far a GPA and Conduct.  The Ricardo lean as far as my opinion is concerned is because he is the only WR that I have heard state his desire to wear #1. 


October 7th, 2010 at 4:04 PM ^

I have a feeling that if the coaches went up to a receiver and said, "We think you are worthy of wearing the number that some of the greatest wide receivers at this school have worn," he probably wouldn't turn it down. I might be wrong, but that would seem like a pretty big honor to turn down.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:22 PM ^

Not picking on your post. Very informative (I didn't know there were actual qualifications for the #1 beyond being a WR, nor did I know that Edwards had a roll in assigning it other than making a scene if he wasn't happy). But...

Why do you think it'll be Miller? The only reason you give is that he has said he wants it. Any other reasons?

Why not (popular favorite) Roundtree? I'll admit that I know nothing about him outside of football, so I don't know about the GPA and extracurriculars.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:40 PM ^

To me it just fits better for Miller.  The kid comes in highly rated, moves to the State of Michigan from Florida to be closer to the U of M Program, enrolls early, is active in helping recruit other players, says publically things like: "I am Michigan," publically says Braylon Edwards is his favorite player, says he wants to wear the #1 Jersey. 

If he earns it, Miller would presumably wear it for 3 years, which is longer than how long Roy Roundtree would be able to wear it.  Don't get me wrong, I'd support a #1 Roundtree all the way and maybe having him wear it for 2 years would give a chance for a younger guy to set himself apart and compete for it.  If Roy were to wear it, Ricardo would still be able to wear it as well.  There is enough class separation between the two to allow both to wear it.  But, both have to earn it. 


October 7th, 2010 at 3:30 PM ^

doesn't even mention that it's a WR.

The Scholarship Endowment for the University of Michigan's No. 1 football jersey was announced in April 2006. The charitable gift provides support to a student/athlete wearing the No. 1 football jersey. The scholarship endowment will recognize future athletes who demonstrate character and commitment both on and off the field. Athletes wearing the No. 1 jersey are selected by U-M's coaching staff.


Other than that, I hate this debate.  And I hate what Braylon has turned this into.  The whole notion that the No. 1 jersey has to be earned started with Braylon.  He was the only one that needed that carrot to get his ass in gear.  And the fact the he would tie off the field behavior to being able to wear the jersey is laughable at best.

Since AC, the only person not to wear it as a Redshirt Freshman or True Freshman is Braylon.


1 McMurtry, Greg WR 1986 v Fr. 6-3 200 Brockton MA Brockton
  1 McMurtry, Greg SE 1987 v So. 6-3 200 Brockton MA Brockton
  1 McMurtry, Greg SE 1988 v Jr. 6-3 197 Brockton MA Brockton
  1 McMurtry, Greg SE 1989 v Sr. 6-3 197 Brockton MA Brockton
  1 Alexander, Derrick WR 1990 v So. 6-2 190 Detroit MI Benedictine
  1 Alexander, Derrick WR 1991 _ Jr. 6-2 190 Detroit MI Benedictine
  1 Alexander, Derrick WR 1992 v Sr. 6-2 190 Detroit MI Benedictine
  1 Alexander, Derrick WR 1993 v Sr. 6-2 190 Detroit MI Benedictine
  1 Butterfield, Tyrone WR 1994 _ Fr. 5-9 170 Miami FL Central
  1 Butterfield, Tyrone WR 1995 v So. 5-8 168 Miami FL Central
  1 Butterfield, Tyrone WR 1996 v Jr. 5-8 175 Miami FL Central
  1 Terrell, David WR 1998 v Fr. 6-4 200 Richmond VA Huguenot
  1 Terrell, David WR 1999 v So. 6-3 198 Richmond VA Huguenot
  1 Terrell, David WR 2000 v Jr. 6-3 208 Richmond VA Huguenot
  1 Edwards, Braylon WR 2003 v Jr. 6-3 205 Detroit MI Bishop Gallagher
  1 Edwards, Braylon WR 2004 v Sr. 6-3 206 Detroit MI Bishop Gallagher


This is the No. 1 jersey of the UNiversity of Michigan this is not Bralyon's No. 1 jersey.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

I see your point about hating what Braylon has turned into.  He was one of my favorite M players, but since joining the FNL, he has become a bit of an ass.  In no particular order, I have been disappointed in him, because, (1) he did that whole O-H-I-O (to the tune of YMCA) thing that the Browns do - come on may, you went to Michigan!, (2) the whole fist fight with Lebron's friend - show some poise and represent M with class, and (3) the recent DUI. 

But, I disagree on the #1 thing.  I think that it is a cool tradition for us that the #1 has to be earned.  It gives young WRs something to aspire to.  So what if this "tradition" didn't exist before Braylon.  New traditions start all the time.  The first time that we wore winged helmets, it was not a tradition, but it sure has grown into one.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:49 PM ^

then let's call it that.  My point is that people. not you or even the OP, talk about how the No. 1 jersey goes to the best WR and it has to be earned because that's the tradition.  That's just simply not true.  It's that way becaue Braylon wants it that way, no other reason.


But like I said, if it's a new tradition then call it a new tradition, I have no problem with that.  I don't think it should be that way, but that's a different point.  But let's not alter history here.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:31 PM ^

I agree with your sentiment almost completely, except for the argument that it is a "new tradition".  Perhaps modified tradition would be a better example.  The #1 jersey is important because of all the graet WRs who have worn it, which is why I'm assuming Carr offered Braylon that deal.  The criteria has obviously changed somewhat because of Braylon, but the idea is still that it represents a wealth of history.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:46 PM ^

"modified tradition" is a more accurate descriptor.  And my above rantings should not be construed to suggest that the No. 1 jersey should be given to anyone.  I like that it's WR jersey and that does make it special.  It's the "earn it" portion that I have a problem with. 

For example, I think this is potentialy a wasted recruiting tool.  If Sammy Watkins (or insert other highly rated WR) wants to wear the No. 1 jersey, then let him wear the No. 1 jersey if that gets him to sign on the dotted line. 

So yeah, I'm not suggesting do away with the positional history that has been associated with that number since the 70's, I just don't care for the new criteria that is being placed upon it.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:46 PM ^

You are correct. 

and +1 to you for the chart and the information.  The only reason I use to base off of a "WR must wear the #1 Jersey" is the fact that Braylon was very outraged when it was given to JT Floyd and said he would be calling Rich Rod about the issue.  It may not be written in the actual scholarship documents, but I consider it an unwritten rule. 

You are also correct about the debat.  Braylon technically did start the exclusive WR thing with the #1 Jersey.  I also agree with your point about a Braylon Edwards scholarship being tied to off the field behavior.  That is laughable.  I just stated what the article I read said. 


October 7th, 2010 at 3:44 PM ^

If Stonum has a break out 2nd half, he deserves it (not taking away from Roundtree).  He may have to produce a tad bit more to get it but his maturity between his freshman year and right now, is really drastic.  He has earned it.

st barth

October 7th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

Maybe I'm missing some nuance of the arrangement, but does anybody else find it odd that Braylon has somehow managed to endow the #1 jersey?

Having a team tradition is one thing, but letting deep-pocketed alumni somehow have a say in the minutiae of the program seems like a sure way to create unforseen headaches in the the future.  As a crazy hypothetical example, what if instead of Braylon & #1 jersey, it was Tom Brady who had donated some of money for a scholarship with the "understanding" that it would be used on a "pro style" quarterback only...and then Coach Rodriguez shows up and suddenly there's an embarrassing public mini-drama.  It justs seems like a bad precedent to (in essence) sell off a piece of the program like that.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

This is a valid point in the discussion.  I personally can't wait until we can finally have another player wear the Jersey.  I attribute the equally the changes in policy regarding the #1 Jersey to Braylon, Lloyd and Bill Martin.  It has evolved into something more than it was when Carter or Alexander wore it and its an open debate as to if this is a good or a bad thing.  Universities in general have in instances over the years been very accomidating to generous Alumni doners.


October 7th, 2010 at 3:46 PM ^

Here is all I am saying.  You can't give this kind of power to a player who has left the program.  I was at the 2004 michigan state game and I love braylon as much as the next michigan fan  but isn't this year just as much about new beginnings as it is about anything?  If Richrod takes this team to a new direction why should he have to listen to freaking braylon edwards about who gets to wear what jersey?  Should Braylon next be deciding who the starters should be because he gives money to the university?  Edwards has shown a lot of bad and unsober judgment in my opinion and I don't think we owe him any present control over the program, especially given the fact that the guy continuously embarrasses himself in the public eye lately.  Neg bang away bitches....


October 7th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

Denard Robinson is now nationally known as #16. I cannot recall a college football player changing his jersey number after he became a household name. I believe I also read that Denard wants #16, and has no designs on #1. Whether or not another position should have #1 in the future, Denard will remain #16.

The debate over issuing #1 is only worth having once there actually is someone who both wants and deserves it. At that point, we could argue whether Braylon has too much influence, but right now it is all hypothetical.


October 7th, 2010 at 5:08 PM ^

I cannot recall a college football player changing his jersey number after he became a household name.

In 2002, Braylon caught 67 passes for 1,035 yards and 10 TDs while wearing #80.  He switched to #1 the next year. 


October 7th, 2010 at 4:07 PM ^

I was a senior last year at pioneer and watched Ricardo play. He doesn't have the talent to be a number one receiver, let alone wear the number one at the University of Michigan. He doesn't change direction well and i saw multiple balls go right through his hands.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:09 PM ^

while i understand the "honor" of wearing a protected number, as a player, I'm not sure if I'd even want to wear it. seems like it could be a curse, as well. who knows.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:45 PM ^

I also think that Braylon had better clean up his off-the-field behavior and sense of entitlement if he wants to be associated with the number one.  If he is going to endow it, he needs to still act like an example.  Stan must have been mortified at recent events.


October 7th, 2010 at 4:48 PM ^

very odd that when everyone lost it over rich rod giving the jersey to a db which was obviously a mistake that no one failed to mention lloyd giving the numero uno jersey to tyrone butterfield as a freshman. Odd. Tyrone Butterfield.


October 7th, 2010 at 5:39 PM ^

Look at what happens when everybody stops to listen to what Braylon Edwards has to say on the subject.  I'm sure his rules about the No. 1 jersey are going to automatically uncover the next Anthony Carter.  Anthony was a WR. Anthony wore No. 1.  Braylon was a WR. Braylon wore No. 1, ergo the next great player at UM will be a WR because he'll be wearing the No. 1.

Fast forward 31 years later and here we are.  Quarterback Denard Robinson is the most exciting football player to ever wear a Michigan uniform since Anthony Carter.  Denard wouldn't wear the No. 1 jersey even if you offered it to him, because he wants No. 16 (his H.S. number). 

This interference by Braylon and UM fans on this subject of football equipment is just dumb IMO. Why not let the coaches decide what they want to do with that number?  Rich Rod could have done some cool things with the No. 1 jersey and created traditions that would make Michigan great all over again.  Most people gave Lloyd Carr that courtesy.   I just don't understand the "Oh No!  That can't happen!" 

I mean, come on, seriously no one knows who's going to step up and be the next greatest thing for Michigan football.   Maybe it will be RB Dee Hart next year? Maybe it will be Ricardo Miller?  It probably will be Denard Robinson for 2 more years after this one. But seriously, who knows?

In my view, LBs, RBs, SSs, QBs, WRs and even kickers/punters should be allowed to wear the No. 1 jersey at Michigan.  Greg Willner was a very good punter for Michigan between 1975 and 1978.  All this banter about the No. 1 jersey in 2010 makes it seem like Willner should never have received that number.  That's BS IMO.





October 7th, 2010 at 8:02 PM ^

#1 jersey, just like they vote on team captain every year before the season starts.  The only rule is, the person they give it to, must be a WR.  Maybe someday we have a Mealer like story for a WR who has overcome a personal tragedy or done some amazing against all odds or adversity.  Maybe the guy, never even sees the field.  If the team thought the #1 jersey should go to someone like that, I would be all in for giving them our #1 jersey.  The criteria for who and why this was given to someone should be decide by the people who are around them everyday and has earned the respect of his teammates.  And not just for their performance on the field. 

It think the fact that we have to wait 2 or 3 years before someone is "worthy" enough to wear the #1 based on someone's outside criteria, is a crock imho.  Someone on this years team in the most respected WR on the squad.  Let the team decide who that is, and give them the honor and recongition they deserve and have earned from their teammates.....


October 7th, 2010 at 10:36 PM ^

First off JT Floyd asked for the jersey and Rich Rod gave it to him without knowledge of the tradition/scholarship.

Also, its really not a big deal.  If someone gets it cool and good for them.  Honestly I could see Stonum, Roundtree, or Odoms worthy of it (its more than just gaudy stats).   


October 7th, 2010 at 10:55 PM ^

I could care less what Braylon thinks about it or what he wants to do with the jersey. He has his own character issues to resolve. Rodriguez is far more of a Michigan Man than Edwards is, and I would be happy if Edwards just shuts up and goes away.