The Wolverine

August 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 77 of 83

78 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2019   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS BY AUSTIN FOX M ichigan has often been known for the success of its players in the NFL, but the Wolverines saw several former athletes thrive in the MLB, NHL and NBA in 2018-19 as well. Here is our version of the 10 best former Michigan athletes playing professional sports during the 2018- 19 school year: 1. Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots (NFL) After completing 68 percent of his passes in three playoff showdowns en route to New England's 13-3 Su- per Bowl triumph over the Los An- geles Rams, it's impossible not to put Brady No. 1 on this list (again). At age 41, he ranked in the NFL's regular-season top 10 for both passing yards (seventh with 4,335) and touch- downs (10th with 29). As a result, he was named to his 14th Pro Bowl. "I don't see a drop-off without a catastrophic injury or, like the great pitchers, if he loses his legs," an anonymous NFL defensive coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando in a July 22 article. "I believe he is in- creasing his fitness. And then he has the best footwork, the best execution of the screen pass, and if you watch the cutups of his fakes, it is like a magic act. "Beyond that, I'm not sure the game has seen a competitor that ex- ceeds him." 2. Frank Clark, DE Seattle Seahawks (NFL) Though he was traded to the Kan- sas City Chiefs following last season, Clark enjoyed the best year of his pro career with the Seattle Seahawks in 2018. He started all 16 games and com- piled a career-best 13 sacks (his previ- ous high had been 10 in 2016), which tied for the eighth most in the NFL. Clark also tallied 41 tackles, two pass deflections, an interception and three forced fumbles (tied for 11th in the NFL), leading to Seattle placing their franchise tag on him March 4. The Seahawks then traded him to the Chiefs April 23, and he signed a five-year deal worth $105.5 million, including $63.5 million guaranteed. "Through the regular season, Se- attle recorded pressure on just 31.5 percent of the opponent's dropbacks, tied for 23rd in the NFL," Pro Foot- ball Focus' Austin Gayle explained. "And Clark tallied a whopping 24.6 percent of his team's total pressures, the fifth-highest market share of any defender in the NFL in 2018." 3. Tim Hardaway Jr., Guard New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks (NBA) He enjoyed the best year of his pro tenure in 2018-19, averaging a career- high 18.1 points per game between U-M'S TOP 10 PROS Football Players Still Rule Our Countdown Of Former Wolverines Standing Out On The Highest Level In 2018-19 Defensive end Frank Clark put together his best season as a pro for the Seattle Seahawks last year, racking up a career-high 13 sacks. PHOTO COURTESY SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - August 2019