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Top 10 University of Michigan football players of all time

Top 10 University of Michigan football players of all time
1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard left quite the legacy at Michigan. (Credit: USA TODAY Sports)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (BVM) —  Many great student-athletes have donned the maize and blue at Michigan, the winningest college football program of all time. These are the top 10 Wolverines in team history.

10. Mike Hart, RB, 2004-07

Hart holds the record for career rushing yards (5,040) at Michigan and he’s the only back to reach 5,000 yards with the Wolverines. The 5-foot-9 New Yorker claims the most 100-yard rushing games (28) for U of M. Plus, he won Big Ten Freshman of the Year with 1,455 yards and nine ground scores in 2004. In addition, he recorded 1,005 rushing attempts without a fumble. Last year, Hart rejoined the Wolverines as running backs coach.

9. Steve Hutchinson, OL, 1996-2000

Hutchinson set the standard for offensive line play at Michigan. As a senior, the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder pulled unanimous All-American honors. The left guard from South Florida played a key role on the Wolverines’ 1997 national title team. Hutchinson served as U of M captain twice. No. 76 didn’t give up a single sack in 1999 or 2000.

8. Denard Robinson, QB, 2009-12

Shoelace streaked his way past defenders into the Michigan record books. The 5-foot-11 field general ranks second with 4,495 career rushing yards and fifth all-time with 6,250 passing yards. Add them together and his total yardage (10,745) tops the Wolverines by a wide margin. The Florida-born Robinson takes third in rushing TDs (42) and fourth (49) in passing TDs at U of M.

7. Dave Brown, DB, 1972-74

The 6-foot-1 standout scored consensus All-American awards each of his final two seasons. As a senior, he was voted a unanimous pick. In 2007, Brown entered the College Football Hall of Fame. What’s more, he got selected for the U of M All-Century Team.

6. Tripp Welborne, DB, 1987-90

“Tripp does more than any player we’ve ever had,” former coach Lloyd Carr once said. Welborne is the lone Wolverine to earn unanimous All-American distinction twice. The North Carolina native added a team MVP in 1990. And he’s enshrined in the Michigan Hall of Honor.

5. Bennie Oosterbaan, 1925-27

Oosterbaan was a three-time consensus All-American, with a unanimous nod in 1927. While known as a pioneer wide receiver, he could line up just about anywhere on the field. That includes on defense as well. In 1948, Oosterbaan coached U of M to a college football crown.

4. Anthony Carter, WR, 1979-82

AC tallied three All-American seasons at Michigan. Carter is No. 2 all-time both in receiving yards (3,076) yards and touchdowns (37) for the Wolverines. The great wideout also garnered team MVP accolades twice.

3. Desmond Howard, WR, 1989-91

The 1991 Heisman Trophy winner left quite a legacy at U of M. Howard owns the single-season TD record with 19. He is among the top three in career TD catches (32). Beyond that, he’s No. 5 all time (1,211) in kickoff return yards.

2. Tom Harmon, RB, 1938-40

Harmon was a two-time All-American, consensus in 1939 and unanimous the following year. “Old 98” logged 30 rushing TDs and 16 passing TDs for the Wolverines. In 1940, Harmon captured the Maxwell Award and bagged the school’s first-ever Heisman Trophy.

1. Charles Woodson, CB, 1995-97

The U of M icon snared Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Woodson sits second all time with 18 career INTs. He’s highly decorated with a case full of trophies: Chuck Bednarik, Walter Camp, Bronko Nagurski,  and Jim Thorpe awards. No. 2 even took home the 1997 Heisman Trophy.

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