The Wolverine

2020 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 107 Michigan senior Ambry Thomas could have tested the NFL waters last year, and many believe he would have been drafted. He will get his chance this year if he has the type of season most envision, joining some other outstanding former Wolverines. Here is the list of U-M greats who progressed to become the Wolverines' best of the best NFL cornerbacks in the modern era: Mike Bass (1964-66) — Bass' trip to the NFL was unique. He didn't sign with his long-term team, the Washington Redskins, until 1969, after two seasons on the Detroit Lions' taxi squad. He then appeared in 104 consecutive games over seven seasons for the Redskins between 1969 and 1975, notch - ing 30 interceptions with 478 return yards and three touchdowns. He also recovered six fumbles, gained 105 yards on eight kickoff returns and gave up only eight touchdown passes in his NFL career. Bass was named one of the 70 greatest Redskins play - ers of all time in 2002. Dave Brown (1972-74) — The late Michigan great was a first-round pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. Brown played 15 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1975 and then shining with the Seattle Seahawks from 1976-86. He finished his career with Green Bay in 1989. Brown was selected as a second-team All-NFL player in 1984 and a second-team All-AFC player in 1985. His 62 career interceptions are tied for 10th in NFL history, and his 50 interceptions with the Seahawks remain a club record. He is also a member of the franchise's Ring of Honor. Mike Harden (1979-81) — Harden went to Denver in the fifth round (131st overall pick) of the 1980 NFL Draft and appeared in 128 games, 98 as a starter, at both safety and cornerback from 1980-88. He finished his career with two seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders. Harden intercepted 33 passes in his nine years with the Broncos and set a team record in 1986 with 179 return yards in a season. Overall, he intercepted 38 passes for 663 yards and four touchdowns in his career and recov - ered 14 fumbles. Ty Law (1984-87) — Law went to New England with the 23rd overall selection in the 1995 NFL Draft and quickly became one of the league's best corners. He was a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a Pro Bowl MVP and three-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots. His 53 career interceptions rank 24th all time in NFL history. Law was added to the New England Patriots Hall of Fame as its 20th member and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2019. He twice led the NFL in interceptions (1998 and 2005) and was a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade team. Charles Woodson (1995-97) — Woodson went to the Oakland Raiders fourth overall in the 1998 NFL Draft and made an immediate impact. He was the Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, named to the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro recognition three consecutive times (1999-2001). He won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, four-time first-team All-Pro and four-time second team selection. He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, was twice the league's interceptions leader (2009 and 2011) and is a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade team. He is tied for fifth in league history with 65 career picks. Leon Hall (2003-06) The Michigan All-American and Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft pick spent nine seasons with his original team and one each with the New York Giants, San Francisco and Oakland. He recorded 27 career interceptions and 117 passes broken up and made the 2007 PFWA All-Rookie Team and the 2009 All-Pro squad (second team). — Chris Balas Michigan's Best NFL Corners Of The Last 50 Years Ty Law went on to become a two-time All-Pro, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a three- time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots en route to being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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