Wolverine football greats, alphabetically

Submitted by OHbornUMfan on April 26th, 2013 at 7:54 AM

In an effort to create a wonderful learning device for my young children, I am in the process of creating a Michigan Football alphabet book.  I enjoy Scott Van Pelt, and like him I tend to make lists and completely overlook somebody obvious.  While I am hoping to make connections to current and recent teams as well as some of the all-time greats, I also don't want to ignore great performers from before my time (football awareness ca. 1988).  I am attempting to use some first and last names to avoid some of the unfortunate letter overlaps (for example, D is for Desmond allows H to be for Harmon).  I would love you to spend some of the time you might ordinarily spend snarking to help my children grow up as fully elucidated as possible.  Of course, you can snark me instead if you want; it's Amurca, we're all free to make choices.

Thanks in advance.

To make this better, here's what I have.  Tell me where I'm wrong (in some places I'm using place fillers)

Avant, Braylon, Charles, Desmond, Elvis, Ford, Gardner, Harmon, I, Jansen, Kovacs, Lewan, Mike (Hart), Neinberg, Oosterbaan,  P, Quarterbacks, Reimersma, Sword, Tom, U, Victors, Woodley, Xavier, Yost, Zoltan.



April 26th, 2013 at 12:33 PM ^

Looking further down the replies, I can't believe I didn't think of Anthony Carter.  He definitely needs to be on th list as a 3-time All American and member of the College Football HOF.

Mr Mxyzptlk

April 26th, 2013 at 8:14 AM ^

Great idea.  Shouldn't be too tough since we have 78 All-Americans, 3 Hiesman Trophy winners, an ex-President and a bunch of all time great coaches to choose from.

Dutch Ferbert

April 26th, 2013 at 8:17 AM ^

No Michigan greats list is complete without him.

I would put him at C is for Carter and move Charles to W is for Woodson.

Great idea though. Maybe you could work jersey numbers into a counting book.



April 26th, 2013 at 8:26 AM ^

Yes, I had to have some help for a couple of them.


A - Anthony

B - Baas

C - Charles

D - Dierdorf

E - Ernest

F - Fritz

G - Gerald

H - Harmon

I - Ian

J - Jumbo

K - Kramer

L - Long

M - Marquis

N - Navarre

O - Oosterbaan 

P - Perry

Q - Quentin

R - Rojo

S - Schembechler

T - Tom

U - Uteritz

V - Vaughn

W - Wistert

X - Xavier

Y - Yost

Z - Zatkoff


April 26th, 2013 at 8:34 AM ^

A is for the Andersons, who called each other "bro." Kurt played center in '01, Erick starred for Mo.

B is for the Brackinses, we'll never give them back. No matter how you spell the name the player is all-MAC.


G is for Glenn Edward, a name you'd never know. For though he was our greatest man, we always called him "Bo."


April 26th, 2013 at 9:07 AM ^

That may be where this goes once I get the basics in place.  And after having read many a tortured rhyme scheme, I think I might be able to do at least as well as some published "authors."  Especially if I plagiarize from you (just kidding, I'd link to it /notplagiarism).

This is Michigan

April 26th, 2013 at 8:54 AM ^

Are you purposefully limiting it to one name per letter of the alphabet?

Also, you could put a small description for each player/coach and turn it in to a resourceful encyclopedia on Michigan greats for when they get older.


Years played


Probably getting a little carried away.


April 26th, 2013 at 9:07 AM ^

Pardon this comment - only sorta on topic....but it is a Michigan-based A-Z picture book.

Still working on getting this as a book somewhere...

University of Michigan Squirrel A-Z - A Web Picture Book


You could also use adjectives like speed, quick, strong, leaders, captain, kicker, fumble to tell the story.  That is what I did here because I did not know the squirrel's names.

To write something for one's own children is a great thing - kudos to you.



April 26th, 2013 at 9:25 AM ^

I would think you have to throw in Rick Leach for R. All American QB that beat Woody Hayes 3 straight years.

Maybe Wheatley for W. A 50 yard run was considered a short run for him.


April 26th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

You can use multiple player names for a single letter.  For example Dr. Suess does something like (paraphrased from memory)


Little b

B, b, B

Bubbles, Barber, Ballerina

B, b, B.


Big G, Little g.  G,g, G

Gardner, Greise, Grahm.

G, g, G.

There are enough greats that you might be able to get a rhyme scheme going. Looking forward to a link to the results.


April 26th, 2013 at 10:16 AM ^

He's way ahead of Avant in my (and probably everyone else's) mind. Also, I think you should make an effort to get all of the legends jersey/retired number players on there.


April 26th, 2013 at 10:56 AM ^

At first I thought Brady would be better than Braylon for B, but then I saw you had Tom, so it's all good.

Then I thought that Biakabtuka (??) would be better. Teaching a toddler to read and pronounce that name would be hilarious and awesome.


April 26th, 2013 at 10:58 AM ^

'B' - Bennie (Oosterban and Friedman)

'G' - Germany (Schultz)

'N' or 'S' - Neil Snow

'W' - Willie Heston or Wistert (too many to list)

'K' - Kramer


April 26th, 2013 at 11:07 AM ^

You have H for Harmon, who is T for Tom?  Also Harmon?

Maybe T for Tshimanga "Touchdown Tim" Biakabutuka

Also: Where's Schembechler?

Ron Utah

April 26th, 2013 at 11:25 AM ^

I agree with these ideas:

I - Ian Gold or Jarrett Irons

P - Chris Perry

U - Ufer

There might be a better "I" out there, but P and U are perfect and undeniable Michigan greats.


April 26th, 2013 at 11:48 AM ^

This is actually a really great idea with a world of possibilities. There are probably enough players for each letter that you could even have a couple examples for each, as some of my own children's pictures books had (sadly, they were not Michigan-themed picture books). 

For example:

"W", you might think

Is an uspide down "M"

But tell that to the Wisterts

Or Wheatly or Woodson

Or any of these men. 

Another example:

"H", rife with talent, almost too much

From Hammerstein to Hayes

And from Harbaugh to Hutch