2012 \’Michigan Legend\’ Number Recipients

Since the arrival of Brady Hoke last year the Michigan football team, and athletics department in general, have really begun to bring back the tradition of the school. From honoring legendary Coach Schembechler with \”The Team, The Team, The Team\” in the Big House tunnel, to calling the Buckeyes \”Ohio\”, Hoke has already put his stamp on the University.

Another very popular thing that he is doing, is honoring the former standout Wolverines as \’Michigan Football Legends\’ by designating their jersey numbers to individual players who show what it means to be a Michigan Football player. Also, the jersey features a custom patch with the players name, and the locker is customized to feature the players name enshrined in gold. This is similar, but an even bigger honor, than the designation of the #1 jersey to the teams top wide receiver/playmaker.

The first player that was named a \’Michigan Legend\’, was Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard and his #21 jersey. This uniform was given to senior WR Junior Hemingway, who wore it with pride and really transformed his game to be the \”go to guy\” in the offense.

As for this year, it is rumored that Hoke will be un-retiring and issuing out three new \’Michigan Legends\’ jersey numbers:

#87: Ron Kramer (54\’-56\’)
Former Varsity Football, Basketball, and Track Athlete, Three Time All-American TE/DE, College Football Hall of Fame Inductee, and #4 Overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.
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Ron Kramer #87 (via UMich)
#48: Gerald Ford (32\’-34\’) 
Former Two Time National Champion Center and Linebacker,  Team MVP, and President of the United States.
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Gerald Ford #48 (via FordLibraryMuseum)
#47: Bennie Oosterbaan (25\’-27\’)
Former Head Coach and Three Time Football All-American at WR/TE/DE, Two Time Basketball All-American, and All-Conference Baseball Player.
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Bennie Oosterbaan #47 (via UMich)
With the Legends and their numbers becoming available this year, I have come up with my choices and recipients to be honored enough to wear these \’Michigan Legend\’s\’ jersey numbers:
Ron Kramer\’s #87
  • Senior SDE Craig Roh
    • Roh is one of the longest tenured starters on the team and is by far one of the biggest team leaders. He also is a true \”Michigan Man\”. He stays out of trouble, plays for the love of the game, and does what is necessary to help the team win (i.e. bulking up to move to SDE from WDE last season).
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Craig Roh (via Athlon Sports)
 
Gerald Ford\’s #48
  • Senior MLB Kenny Demens
    • The main man on defense, Demens is one of the most impactful players and leaders on the team. He is always staying out of trouble, leading the team in tackles, and is easily one of the best team players. His leadership on and off the field, mixed with his talents, makes him the perfect fit for the former Commander-in-Chiefs jersey number
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Kenny Demens (via Fansided)
Bennie Oosterbaan\’s #47
  • Senior SS Jordan Kovacs
    • As the true leader and definition of a \”Michigan Man\”, Kovacs is the absolute perfect person to wear one the former multi sport All-American and Hall of Fame Wolverine\’s number. The former two time walk-on is a team captain and field general for our Wolverines. I would be absolutely shocked if he is not awarded this number, or at least Ford\’s Legend\’s number, for his senior season.
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Jordan Kovacs (via Toledo Blade)
As for the future (near or far), I expect to see a couple other retired numbers and All-American alums becoming official \’Michigan Legends\’. Here are some of the possibilities:
  • Heisman trophy winning CB Charles Woodson\’s #2
  • War Hero and Heisman trophy winning Mr.Everything Tom Harmon\’s #98
  • All-American and Hall of Fame brothers, Francis, Albert, and Alvin Wistert\’s #11
Alums:
  • Three Time All-American and Hall of Fame WR Anthony Carter (#1 already an issued number)
  • Two Time All-American and 1st Overall Pick in the 2008 Draft, LT Jake Long\’s #77
  • Two Time All-American, Conference MVP and Offensive POY, QB Denard Robinson\’s #16
Go Blue.