Sports

The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time 

Ranker College Football
Originally by
Updated May 28, 2020 35.1k votes 4.2k voters 66.9k views 87 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

More Charles Woodson 

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2
Desmond Howard is listed (or ranked) 2 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 

#731 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever #48 of 119 The Best Detroit Lions of All Time #20 of 83 The Best Heisman Trophy Winners of All Time

3
Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from San Mateo, California, United States of America

Age: 38

Teams: New England Patriots

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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 

#90 of 432 The Greatest Defenders in NFL History #176 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever #3 of 246 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

More Jake Long 

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6
Anthony Carter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Anthony Carter Wide receiver from Riviera Beach, Florida

Age: 58

More Anthony Carter 

#60 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #788 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever #26 of 36 The Best NFL Wide Receivers of the '80s

7
Jim Harbaugh is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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8
Braylon Edwards is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
Tom Harmon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time

Age: Died at 71 (1919-1990)

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Rams

10
Jabrill Peppers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
swag added
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: 38

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

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: 66

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, St. Louis Cardinals

More Dan Dierdorf 

#158 of 1,323 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

More Denard Robinson 

#89 of 119 The Greatest College Football Quarterbacks of All Time #15 of 19 The Best QB's Under Age 24 #46 of 114 The Best Jacksonville Jaguars of All Time

16
Mike Hart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Syracuse, New York

Age: 29

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Indianapolis Colts

17
Brandon Graham is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Defensive end from Detroit, Oregon

Age: 27

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Philadelphia Eagles

18
Tshimanga Biakabutuka is listed (or ranked) 18 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

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 

#161 of 214 The Best Wide Receivers of All Time #904 of 1,323 The Best Football Players Ever #15 of 149 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 

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21
Anthony Thomas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Running back from Winnfield, Louisiana

Age: 41

Teams: New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Michigan Wolverines football, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys

22
Leon Hall is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
kelly-jameston added Leon Hall Cornerback from Vista, California

Age: 31

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals

23
Mario Manningham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Wide receiver from Warren, Ohio

Age: 29

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

24
Jourdan Lewis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
calhouse added Jourdan Lewis
25
Chad Henne is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Michigan Football Players of All Time
Quarterback from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania

Age: 30

Teams: Michigan Wolverines football, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins

More Chad Henne 

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