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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Michigan All-Jersey Team

Recently, the Sporting News named their all-time players by jersey number, as well as the current best athletes by number. After seeing this, Benny suggested we here at the MZone do something similar: The Michigan Wolverine All-Jersey Team detailing the best player to wear each number.

So here it is.

We'll throw out the top four or five picks for each number and give our opinion (based strictly on the U-M days, not post-college playing, if any). But we'll also put up a poll so you, the MZone reader, can vote to see how the lists compare.

Also, with 99 choices, we're not limiting this to the correct number of positions. Thus, we might end up with, say, six QBs in the end. It's just about the best player to wear each number.

Finally, we decided we're not going to go in order (jersey #1, then #2, etc.) as that might tilt the excitement factor a little too heavily toward the early rounds. Thus, I reach into magic hat and pull out...


Now, according to the Bentley Historical Library, some of the Michigan greats to wear #16 are:

* Mike Jolly - a DB and four-year letterman from 1976-1979 (who apparently shrunk from 6'4 to 6'3 following his freshman year. Yes, Bo was that tough back in the day). Jolly was All-Big 10 in '78-'79 and went on to play for the Green Bay Packers from '80-'83.
* John Navarre - the five-year QB from '99-'03 who, though oft-maligned by fans, holds numerous Michigan records.
* Steve Smith - a three-year starter at QB (whose height surprisingly remained unchanged). Smith led the Wolverines to a Rose Bowl his junior year and a final Top 10 ranking his senior year.
* Jay Riemersma - the QB-turned-TE from '92-'95 who went on to play in the pros for Buffalo Bills from 1996-2000.

Our vote: For us, this came down to Riemersma and Jolly. It was close but the #16 All-Jersey Honor goes to...

Mike Jolly. This is a pick for the true Michigan historians among us. But back in the days of Rick Leach, Bob Ufer and Harlan Huckleby, Jolly was a force to be reckoned with on some of the great Michigan "D's" of the 70s whose teams won 3 straight Big 10 titles and consecutive victories over the Buckeyes from '76-'78.

What say you?

Who is the best Michigan player to wear #16?
Mike Jolly
John Navarre
Steve Smith
Jay Riemersma
pollcode.com free polls

Interesting Tidbit: No Michigan player who wore #16 has ever been named an All-American.

Ed. Note: Any chance Adrian Arrington had of making the list has gone out the window following all his recent off-the-field problems.


A2saint said...

I vote for Steve Smith entirely based on his successful hollywood movie career (The Big Chill, 1983).

Lando said...

John Nevarre was one of the most hated players in michigan history. Yes, he does hold a lot of records, but this statement needs a footnote. John Nevarre started for what? 9 years or so.. atleast that's how it felt. He was never hurt cause it's hard to hurt someone who hunts mammoths on his days off. Anyone who ever had to sit through his awkward, slow and unaccurate play knows he in no way deserves to be mentioned next to the other names in this poll, let alone receiving so many votes. Michigan quarterbacks don't usually play for that many years, therefor, someone who did should have broken every record michigan had.

El Pendejo Grande said...

Steve Smith, for that protobuckstache (back before the trailer nation took it over like they did the mullet)

Plus, he got to throw it to AC, so he gets awesomeness points by proxy.

Benny Friedman said...

EPG, Steve Smith had to be the worst QB in Michigan history. He's the single reason Anthony Carter didn't win at least one Heisman. I'm suprised AC could walk after having so many passes thrown at his feet.

El Pendejo Grande said...

He's my second favorite after Jimmy "Stanford>*" Harbaugh. Must be because he was the guy when I became a fan. Also, because I was just a fan, and lived and died with their success. Blind loyalty instead of wasting my workday microanalyzing the shoulda, woulda, couldas like I do know.

El Pendejo Grande said...


you know?

bigbluedaddy said...

riemersma by far!!! steve smith who? john navarre was replaced by an overated usc qb & screw that future convict arrington