The Wolverine

August 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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BY CHRIS BALAS M ichigan's representation in the NFL might have peaked 10 years (or so) ago, but U-M athletes are making up for it in other sports — basketball, specifically. John Beilein's guys are starting to wear a path to the NBA, with players getting drafted over the last two years. However, a familiar football face tops The Wolver- ine's list of Michigan's top pros in the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB. 1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patri- ots (NFL) Now 37 years old, Brady is prob- ably past his prime, but he's still one of the top players in the NFL. He's anywhere from the best (according to, which ranked him No. 1 among all NFL talents) to just outside the top five quarterbacks in the league ( Either way, he's still head and shoulders Michi- gan's best professional athlete. "He could take any team in the AFC and win the division," CBSS-'s Pat Kirwan wrote in July. The Patriots have earned five trips to the Super Bowl in Brady's 13 years as a starter, winning three and barely losing the other two. Brady has cap- tured two Super Bowl MVP awards and two league MVP awards (2007, 2010), has been selected to nine Pro Bowls and has led the Patriots to more division titles than any other quarterback in NFL history (11). Brady threw for 4,343 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2013 in leading the Pats to another AFC East Division title last season. 2. David Harris, LB, New York Jets (NFL) A 2009 All-Pro, Harris has racked up 760 career tackles and remains one of the AFC's better linebackers, even at age 30. He's started all 16 regular-season games for the Jets in each of the past five years and had more combined tackles last year (124, 70 solo) than he had since racking up 127 in 2009. Harris played nearly every snap last season, rarely coming off the field, even on third down. He calls the defensive signals from his mid- dle linebacker spot and is one of the team's leaders. reports he's also coming off a year in which Pro Football Focus graded his coverage snaps per reception — the number of times he was the primary man in coverage for every reception he allowed — the seventh-best in the NFL. The eighth-year pro enters the last season of a four-year, $36-million ELITE Status Tom Brady Tops The List Of U-M's Best Current Professionals

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