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The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time

Updated May 28, 2020 37.9k votes 4.4k voters 70.7k views87 items

List RulesRank 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. 
 
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  • Charles Woodson1
    2,035
    298

    Charles Woodson

    Cornerback, Return specialist

    BirthplaceSebring, Ohio, United States of America

    Age43

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers

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    #39 of 322 People Who Should Be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame#45 of 106 The Fastest NFL Players of All Time

  • Desmond Howard2
    1,422
    502

    Desmond Howard

    Return specialist, Punt returner

    BirthplaceCleveland, Ohio, USA

    Age50

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers

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    #780 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever#25 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time

  • Tom Harmon3
    706
    210

    Tom Harmon

    Halfback

    BirthplaceMarion Township, Rensselaer, Indiana, United States of America

    AgeDied at 71 (1919-1990)

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Rams

  • Anthony Carter4
    799
    255

    Anthony Carter

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceRiviera Beach, Florida

    Age60

  • Ty Law5
    1,052
    371

    Ty Law

    Cornerback, Safety

    BirthplaceAliquippa, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    Age46

    TeamsDenver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs

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    #73 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History#13 of 246 The Best New England Patriots Of All Time

  • Steve Hutchinson6
    563
    168

    BirthplaceFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States of America

    Age42

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks, Michigan Wolverines football, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings

  • Jake Long7
    909
    325

    Jake Long

    Tackle

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan

    Age35

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins

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    #20 of 53 The Best No. 1 Overall NFL Draft Picks Of All Time, Ranked#15 of 61 The Best NFL Players From Michigan

  • LaMarr Woodley8
    657
    214

    LaMarr Woodley

    Outside Linebacker

    BirthplaceSaginaw, Michigan

    Age31

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers, Michigan Wolverines football

  • Braylon Edwards9
    749
    270

    Braylon Edwards

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, United States of America

    Age37

    TeamsSeattle Seahawks, Michigan Wolverines football, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets

  • devin bush jr10
    334
    75

    devin bush jr

    Linebacker

    BirthplacePembroke Pines, Florida

    TeamsPittsburgh Steelers

  • Tyrone Wheatley11
    673
    238

    Tyrone Wheatley

    Running back

    BirthplaceInkster, Michigan

    Age48

    TeamsOakland Raiders

  • Dan Dierdorf12
    566
    199

    Dan Dierdorf

    Tackle, Offensive Lineman

    BirthplaceCanton, Ohio, United States of America

    Age71

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Cardinals

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    #9 of 35 Undeserving Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame#20 of 61 The Best NFL Players From Ohio

  • Jabrill Peppers13
    1,108
    403

    BirthplaceNew Jersey

  • Tom Brady14
    2,012
    838

    Tom Brady

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceSan Mateo, California, United States of America

    Age38

    TeamsTampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The Funniest Tom Brady Memes For Football Fans#3 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative

  • Jim Harbaugh15
    893
    353

    Jim Harbaugh

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceToledo, Ohio

    Age52

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers

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    #41 of 61 The Best NFL Coaches of All Time#77 of 144 The Greatest Chicago Bears of All Time

  • Anthony Thomas16
    424
    125

    Anthony Thomas

    Running back

    BirthplaceWinnfield, Louisiana

    Age42

    TeamsNew Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Michigan Wolverines football, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

  • Tshimanga Biakabutuka17
    500
    166

    BirthplaceKinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Age46

    TeamsCarolina Panthers

  • Brandon Graham18
    473
    159

    Brandon Graham

    Defensive end

    BirthplaceDetroit, Oregon

    Age32

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Philadelphia Eagles

  • Mike Hart19
    575
    203

    Mike Hart

    Running back

    BirthplaceSyracuse, New York

    Age34

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Indianapolis Colts

  • Denard Robinson20
    732
    337

    Denard Robinson

    Running back, Quarterback

    Age30

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    #88 of 119 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time#7 of 19 The Best QB's Under Age 24

  • Amani Toomer21
    432
    152

    Amani Toomer

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceBerkeley, California

    Age46

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, New York Giants

  • Leon Hall22
    338
    135

    Leon Hall

    Cornerback

    BirthplaceVista, California

    Age35

    TeamsCincinnati Bengals

  • Mario Manningham23
    391
    161

    Mario Manningham

    Wide receiver

    BirthplaceWarren, Ohio

    Age34

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants

  • Jourdan Lewis24
    397
    160

    Jourdan Lewis

    Cornerback
  • Brian Griese25
    434
    206

    Brian Griese

    Quarterback

    BirthplaceMiami, Florida

    Age45

    TeamsMichigan Wolverines football, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins

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    #6 of 9 9 Idiot Football Players Injured Off The Field#137 of 246 The Best Miami Dolphins of All Time