The Wolverine

2014 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2014 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 69 BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan's storied history has been created not only by a wealth of All-America and All-Big Ten players, but also by hundreds of others who have had great careers. Here are U-M's best players of the last 30 years — 11 on offense and 11 on defense — who didn't necessarily get their due in the form of post- season accolades. OFFENSE Tom Brady, QB (Lettered 1997-99) John Navarre (2001-03) would be the pick if it weren't Brady, but everyone knows Brady's NFL story — sixth-round pick in the 2000 draft, now one of the most prolific quarterbacks of all time with three Super Bowl titles to his name. The New England Patriots superstar had to earn everything he got at Michigan, though, first battling fel- low future pro Brian Griese (1997) and then upstart Drew Henson (1999). He started all of the 1998 season and most of 1999, never earning first-team All-Big Ten honors, and still ranks fifth on U-M's all-time comple- tions list (443). He's at 49,149 passing yards and 359 touchdowns and counting in the NFL. Chris Calloway, WR (1987-89) Only 5-10 and 180 pounds at his heaviest, Calloway complemented the longer, lankier and more highly recruited Greg McMur- try through 1989 and was never the No. 1 option. In his career, he caught 56 passes for 826 yards and eight touchdowns over three seasons, hauling in more than three receptions in a game only twice (seven ver- sus Notre Dame and four against Iowa in 1989). The diminutive receiver shined as a pro, however, catching 386 passes for 5,497 yards and 30 touchdowns. He eclipsed 500 yards in a season six times, including a high of 849 yards (with a career-best eight touch- downs) with the New York Giants in 1997. Mercury Hayes, WR (1992-95) Hayes played complement to Amani Toomer for most of his Michigan career, but emerged from his shadow in 1995, catching 48 passes for 923 yards (19.2 yards per re- ception). The 5-11, 195-pounder had incred- ible hands and route-running ability — he eclipsed the 100-yard mark in five games and finished his career with 2,144 yards and 12 touchdowns, including the memo- rable game-winner with no time remaining in the 18-17 victory over Virginia in the 1995 opener. He caught four passes for 101 yards in parts of three NFL seasons. Aaron Shea, H-Back (1996-99) Listed as a fullback most of his career, Shea carried only 27 times for 106 yards. That wasn't his role, though — he had great hands, and his 68 catches for 574 yards and five touchdowns don't do his contributions justice. Shea spent six seasons as a tight end with the Cleveland Browns and caught 97 passes for 851 yards and seven scores before injuries ended his career. Chris Howard, RB (1994-97) Howard doesn't appear among the top 15 on any of Michigan's rushing lists, didn't have blazing speed and never eclipsed 1,000 yards in a season, but he had unbelievably quick feet and reliable hands. He started two seasons (1996 and '97), rushed for 1,876 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career and even led the 1997 national champions in receptions (37 for 276 yards). The Louisi- ana native eclipsed 100 yards nine times in his college career and spent parts of three seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jarrod Bunch, FB (1987-90) Chris Floyd (1994-97) also is deserving here, one of the better blocking fullbacks Michigan has ever seen, but Bunch was out- standing and enjoyed time in the NFL before injuries shortened his career. He rushed for 1,346 yards at Michigan and averaged 4.3 yards per carry, capping his career with 515 yards and three touchdowns in his senior season. He also amassed 629 yards in three NFL seasons with the New York Giants, racking up 501 of those yards in the 1992 campaign. BETTER Than adverTised Tom Brady Headlines Michigan's All-Underrated Team Of The Last 30 Years Brady never earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, but he still ranks fifth on U-M's all- time completions list (443) and went on to win three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots. PHOTO BY BILL WOOD Fullback Jarrod Bunch concluded his U-M career with 1,346 rushing yards and capped his time in Ann Arbor with a 515-yard, three- touchdown effort during his senior campaign. PHOTO BY BOB KALMBACH 68-71.All-Underappreciated Team.indd 69 6/19/14 12:53 PM

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