The Wolverine

August 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 159 of 161

Desmond — he said it was always about Michigan, and I want to win a Big Ten title for this program." While Gallon is an obvious choice to wear No. 21, the rest of the jersey recipients are not so clear. No. 11 — Francis (1930-33), Albert (1939-42) and Alvin (1947-49) Wistert were All-American tackles for the Wolverines, but a low number such as 11 is traditionally worn by quarterbacks or cornerbacks. Last year, U-M handed it to a safety and could do so again this fall by asking fifth-year senior Thomas Gordon to put it on. Gordon is the most experienced member in Michigan's defensive backfield and is expected to be a leader for the entire secondary, assuming the role Kovacs held from 2010‑12. Senior cornerback Courtney Avery, and junior corners Blake Countess and Raymon Taylor would also be options. No. 87 — Kramer was an AllAmerican end for the Maize and Blue from 1954-56, and his number last year went to a tight end, though wide receivers Mario Manningham (2005-07) and Tai Streets (1995-98) both wore No. 86 so a wideout could get away with No. 87 also. Most likely, the coaches will look to sophomore tight end Devin Funchess, who is on the brink of superstardom and is a hard-working, team-first athlete. If not Funchess, the coaches could look to senior receivers Joe Reynolds, Drew Dileo and Jeremy Jackson. Neither of the three possesses the physical potential of Funchess to be a dominant player, but they are all solid role players that have put the needs of the team ahead of themselves. No. 98 — Harmon was primarily a halfback from 1938-40, but he did a little bit of everything for Michigan, including throwing passes and punting. Still, he's famous for his exploits running the football. Today, though, a running back simply can't wear No. 98. The 90s belong to defensive linemen, and for the Wolverines that means seniors Quinton Washington and Jibreel Black, or junior Frank Clark. A rush end, Clark is the most likely of the three to emerge a force, capable of eight to 10 sacks and 12 to 18 tackles for loss this year, but he's also only a year removed from off-field issues that threatened to end his career. Both Washington and Black are consummate team players and have developed exceptionally, playing bit parts when they were younger, becoming key reserves, starting some games last season and now being in a position to be opening-day starters. Still, neither will likely put up big numbers. Clark has matured considerably and is being asked to lead this fall. He appears the best choice of the three to wear No. 98. ❑ Associate Editor Michael Spath has been with The Wolverine since 2002. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Spath_Wolverine.

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