Michigan's Top 10 All-Time Athletes
Even though the Fab Five came a few years later with the additions of Webber, Howard and Rose, Glen Rice is still Michigan's all-time leading scorer with 2,442 points. During his senior season, Rice led the Wolverines to an NCAA title and won the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.
Pitcher Jennie Ritter led the Wolverines to a College World Series victory in 2005. During her four years at Michigan she broke numerous Michigan single-season records including no-hitters (4), wins (38), starts (41), appearances (48), complete games (38) and innings pitched (288). She is also Michigan's all-time leader in career strikeouts (1,205), no-hitters (5), shutouts (42), innings pitched (836) and appearances (151).
Even though Canadian-born hockey center Brendan Morrison was chosen in the second round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, he ended up playing for Michigan instead. He was named CCHA Rookie of the Year in 1994 and eventually becoming a three-time All-America selection. In his junior season, he led the Wolverines to the national championship in and was tournament MVP. The following year he finished with 31 goals, 57 assists and 88 points and was awarded the Hobey Baker Award for the best NCAA ice hockey player.
Drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school and offered both a baseball and football scholarship to Michigan, shortstop Barry Larkin chose to attend school and focus only on baseball. He played three years before being drafted again (fourth overall) by the Reds in 1985. While at Michigan, he earned All-America honors and played for the 1984 Olympic team before having a successful 18-year pro career.
While Michael Phelps might be the most well-known swimmer to take classes at Michigan, Tom Dolan actually competed for the Wolverines, leading them to a national title in 1995 while winning nine individual NCAA titles. Despite having a severe case of exercise-induced asthma, Dolan broke three American records at the NCAA championships. Holding a world record in the 400-m relay, Dolan won a gold medal in the '96 Olympics and a silver and gold in '00.
Even though Braylon Edwards broke a lot of his records in 2004, wide receiver and kick returner Desmond Howard set numerous NCAA and Michigan records and became Michigan's second Heisman Trophy winner (with a record 85 percent of the first place voting) while also winning the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award and First Team All-America honors. In his last season at Michigan, Howard scored 22 touchdowns: 19 receiving, two rushing and one off a kick return to lead the Big Ten in scoring (138). Selected fourth overall in the 1992 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, Howard went on to have an 11-year career and won the Super Bowl XXXI MVP as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
As Michigan's only three-time All-America guard, Cazzie Russell led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten championships and took them to the Final Four in '64 and '65. Despite not making it to the Final Four again in '66, Russell was named College Basketball Player of the Year and averaged 30.8 points per game. Drafted first overall by the New York Knicks, Russell ended up having a 12-year career in the NBA.
As a junior in 1997, two-time All-America defensive back Charles Woodson became the first and only defensive player to win the Heisman trophy, beating out Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning. Along with winning the Heisman and breaking the school record for pass break ups with 15, Woodson also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive college player), Jim Thorpe Award, Walter Camp Award, Big Ten Player of the Year award and led the Wolverines to a national championship.
As Michigan's first Heisman Trophy winner, Tom "Ole 98" Harmon led the nation in scoring both his junior and senior seasons by excelling at running back, kicker and quarterback while also playing two years on the basketball team. He finished his three-year career with 2,134 rushing yards, 1,399 passing yards and 33 touchdowns.
Considered one of the greatest athletes in Michigan history, Bennie Oosterbaan was a three-time All-America football player, a two-time All-America basketball player (who led the Big Ten in scoring during his senior season) and a baseball player. Turning down professional football for religious reasons, Oosterbaan went on to coach football, basketball and baseball at Michigan. In his first season as head football coach in 1948, he led the Wolverines to a national championship.