Michigan Wolverines have recognized past “Legends” who have had jersey numbers retired in the past by bring those numbers out of retirement for current players to wear.
Jordan Kovacs became the final Michigan football player to receive a retired number Saturday prior to kickoff against Northwestern.
ESPN Wolverine Nation beat writer Chantel Jennings provided the following background about Kovacs’ honor:
Senior safety Jordan Kovacs was presented with Michigan’s formerly retired No. 11 football jersey Saturday before the Michigan-Northwestern game. Kovacs switched from No. 32 and will wear the No. 11 uniform the rest of the season.
The jersey was retired after a trio of Wistert brothers — Francis, Albert and Alvin — wore the uniform between 1931 and 1949. Francis was a member of two national championship teams. Albert was MVP of the 1942 Michigan team and went on to be an eight-time All Pro honoree during his professional career. And Alvin, who didn’t begin his college playing career until he was 30 years old, was an All-American during the 1948 and 1949 seasons.
Several other Michigan football players have worn retired uniforms this season. Michigan’s athletic department has provided the following information about those players:
Desmond Howard was the inaugural Michigan Football Legend, honored in 2011 during the first night game in Michigan Stadium history. Howard’s No. 21 jersey is worn in 2012 by senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison).
Bennie Oosterbaan was recognized as a Michigan Football Legend prior to the 2012 home opener against Air Force, and his No. 47 jersey is being worn by junior/sophomore Jake Ryan (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius). Ron Kramer’s No. 87 jersey was recognized prior to the Massachusetts game Sept. 15, and senior tight end Brandon Moore (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) will wear No. 87 for the remainder of the season, while Gerald Ford’s No. 48 jersey, honored prior to the Illinois game on Oct. 13, will be worn by sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa).