Sports

The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time 

Ranker College Football
Originally by
Updated February 16, 2020 34.4k votes 4.1k voters 65.8k views 90 items

List Rules Rank the players based only on their time at Michigan

A list of the best Michigan Wolverines football players of all time. When many people think of college football, the University of Michigan is one of the first schools that they associate with the game. Michigan currently has the most wins in college football history and many of college football's greats have worn the maize and blue. Michigan has won or shared 42 league titles; only Oklahoma and Nebraska have more conference championships in college football. Since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936, Michigan has finished in the top 10 a record 37 times. The Wolverines claim 11 national championships, most recently that of the 1997 squad voted atop the final AP Poll.

With championships comes great players. Some of the best Michigan players ever have led the school to not only titles, but to the Rose Bowl. The New Year's Day game is a Michigan staple and the Wolverines have played in Pasadena 20 times. Some of Michigan's best players cemented their legacy as famous Michigan football players with strong Rose Bowl performances.

Michigan has a rich history of having outstanding players on its rosters. Who wouldn't want to play for the winningest team in college history? That's what attracted Heisman Trophy winners like Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson to the school. Even a former President of the United States played for the Wolverines. Yes, Gerald Ford was a standout footballer before he entered the White House. 

This is a list of the best Michigan Wolverines football players of all time. If you see someone missing from this list, feel free to add him. Vote or rerank this list of the greatest Michigan Wolverines of all time by who you think should be at the top. 
 
list ordered by
1
Charles Woodson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Cornerback and Return specialist from Sebring, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 39

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers

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#20 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #50 of 350 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame #12 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

2
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from San Mateo, California, United States of America

Age: 41

Teams: New England Patriots

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3
Desmond Howard is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Return specialist and Punt returner from Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Age: 45

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, + more

More Desmond Howard 

#781 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #17 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time #8 of 56 The Best College Football Wide Receivers of All Time

4
Ty Law is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Cornerback and Safety from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Age: 41

Teams: Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs

More Ty Law 

#176 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #93 of 542 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #3 of 247 The Best New England Patriots Of All Time

5
Jake Long is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Tackle from Detroit, Michigan

Age: 30

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins

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6
Jim Harbaugh is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Toledo, Ohio

Age: 52

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers

More Jim Harbaugh 

#119 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #72 of 147 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time #31 of 70 The Best Current College Football Coaches

7
Jabrill Peppers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
swag added
8
Anthony Carter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Anthony Carter Wide receiver from Riviera Beach, Florida

Age: 58

More Anthony Carter 

#826 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #60 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #29 of 36 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s

9
Braylon Edwards is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Detroit, Michigan, United States of America

Age: 32

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Michigan Wolverines football, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets

10
Tom Harmon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time

Age: Died at 71 (1919-1990)

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Rams

11
Tyrone Wheatley is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Inkster, Michigan

Age: 43

Teams: Oakland Raiders

12
LaMarr Woodley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Outside Linebacker from Saginaw, Michigan

Age: 31

Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers, Michigan Wolverines football

13
Steve Hutchinson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Guard from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

Age: 41

Teams: Seattle Seahawks, Michigan Wolverines football, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings

More Steve Hutchinson 

#531 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #27 of 138 The Best Minnesota Vikings Of All Time #13 of 219 The Best Seattle Seahawks of All Time

14
Dan Dierdorf is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
ttaylor07112009 added Tackle and Offensive Lineman from Canton, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 69

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Cardinals

More Dan Dierdorf 

#159 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #7 of 35 Undeserving Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame #11 of 225 The Best Arizona Cardinals of All Time

15
Denard Robinson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Denard Robinson

Age: 25

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Jacksonville Jaguars

16
Brandon Graham is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Defensive end from Detroit, Oregon

Age: 30

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Philadelphia Eagles

17
Tshimanga Biakabutuka is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Age: 41

Teams: Carolina Panthers

18
Mike Hart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Syracuse, New York

Age: 32

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Indianapolis Colts

19
Amani Toomer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Berkeley, California

Age: 41

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, New York Giants

More Amani Toomer 

#854 of 1,537 The Best Football Players Ever #151 of 248 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #15 of 157 The Best New York Giants of All Time

20
Brian Griese is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Miami, Florida

Age: 43

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins

More Brian Griese 

#129 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #24 of 66 The Best Chicago Bears Quarterbacks of All Time #9 of 9 9 Idiot Football Players Injured Off The Field

21
Leon Hall is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
kelly-jameston added Leon Hall Cornerback from Vista, California

Age: 34

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals

22
Mario Manningham is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Warren, Ohio

Age: 32

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants

23
Chad Henne is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania

Age: 33

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins

More Chad Henne 

#200 of 257 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time #99 of 121 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time #68 of 72 The Best Quarterbacks in the NFL Right Now

24
Chris Perry is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Advance, North Carolina

Age: 34

25
Elvis Grbac is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Elvis Grbac Quarterback from Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America

Age: 45

Teams: Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs