Wolverine Legends Tournament: Elite Eight

We are down to eight guys for the right to be crowned Bleed Blue’s Wolverine Legend! Who best represents the University of Michigan? YOU DECIDE! Voting is unlimited and runs until March 17th at midnight. Check out the match-ups below:

Schembechler Region Final: (1) Charles Woodson vs (2) Tom Harmon

Charles Woodson is arguably the face of the Michigan football program over the last 20 years. Leading the Wolverines to the 1997 National Championship and winning the Heishman Trophy in the same year, this two-way star is one of the most decorated athletes in U of M history.  Drafted fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1998, Woodson has a very successful pro career as well, playing for the Raiders and Packers in his fifteen year career.  You will not see a Heisman highlight reel without Woodson famously striking his pose against Michigan State in 1997.

He is an eight time NFL Pro Bowler, seven time All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, and won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2011.

Tom Harmon is one of the greatest football players ever to step foot on campus at the University of Michigan. A tailback who was also a kicker, Harmon was a Heisman Trophy winner in 1940. He rushed for over 2000 yards in his career, with 1304 yards passing and 16 touchdown passes. Harmon could truly do it all.

“Number 98” had arguably the greatest performance of his Wolverine career in his final game against rival Ohio State in Columbus, scoring three rushing TD’s two passing TD’s, four extra points, three interceptions, and three punts for an average of 50 yards, something that surely will never be duplicated. It was such a rare feat of athleticism, that the Buckeye fans gave him a standing ovation after the game, something no Wolverine has experienced since then.

Berenson Region Final: (1) Michael Phelps vs. (2) Desmond Howard

Michael Phelps is very much the face of the Olympics for the U.S.A over the last 10 years for what he has accomplished in the pool.  Winning 22 medals, 18 of them gold, this former Wolverine is the most decorated Olympian of all time. In the 2008 Games, Phelps set the record for most first place finishes in a single Olympics. He never officially earned his degree from Michigan due to his career taking off, but there is no denying what he has accomplished.

Desmond Howard is a legend in the Michigan Football program. This former Heisman Trophy winner led the Big Ten in scoring with 138 points in 1991. This receiver and return specialist also won the Maxwell and Walter Camp awards during his Heisman season.  He holds NFL records for the 2nd longest kick return TD in the Super Bowl of 99 yards and is third all time in punt return touchdowns with eight. He was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame and his number 21 has been honored by the University of Michigan.

Yost Region Final: (1) Tom Brady vs. (3) Denard Robinson

Tom Brady seemingly came out of nowhere. Backup to Brian Griese during the 1997 National Championship season, this former Wolverine quarterback rose from seventh on the depth chart his freshman year and ended up battling out with Drew Henson to be the #1 QB in ’98 and ’99. Coming out of college, nobody expected him to be much of anything in the NFL. A sixth round pick by the Patriots, Brady replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and led the Pats all the way to the Super Bowl that year, and the rest is history. He has gone on to become a three time Super Bowl winner and eight time Pro Bowler. Brady has come a long way from his Michigan days and is now one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.

Denard Robinson is arguably the most electrifying athlete that has ever stepped foot in Ann Arbor. Robinson is the all-time leading quarterback rusher in college football. His speed as a passer was a weapon that few defenses could stop, let alone contain. He has 9 of the 10 highest total yardage games in school history. He was not the greatest of throwers by any means, but every time he touched the ball there was a chance he could go the distance. He was also the ultimate leader and team player. When Brady Hoke and his staff came in 2011, Denard was key to the transition period. His future is uncertain as of now, but there is no denying Robinson was one of the best to take the field.

Crisler Region Final: (1) Glenn Rice vs. (2) Bennie Oosterbaan

Glenn Rice is one of the all-time greats in the Michigan basketball program. He is the program’s career leading scorer with 2,442 points in his four years. Rice led the Wolverines to the 1989 National Championship and scored a record 184 points during that run in the NCAA Tournament. He was the fourth overall selection in the 1989 NBA Draft by the Miami heat and won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. Rice’s #41 was retired by the program in 2005.

The younger generation may not be familiar with him, but Bennie Oosterbaan is one of the best athletes in school history. Oosterbaan played football, basketball, and baseball for the Wolverines in his college career from 1925-28. He was an All-American in football, where he played defensive end and wide receiver, and basketball, where he played forward. He was also All-Conference in baseball, winning the Big Ten batting title that same season. Oosterbaan is one of two Wolverines, the other being Anthony Carter, named to the All-American team three straight seasons. After his playing days, he also coached basketball (1938-1946) and football (1948-1958) for the University of Michigan, winning the national title in football in 1948. His resume is one that will never be matched again in Ann Arbor

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