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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Michigan to unretire Gerald Ford's No. 48

By Adam Rittenberg

News flash: Jersey numbers are a big deal at Michigan.

There's the No. 1 jersey, worn by just 12 players in team history, the past six of whom played wide receiver. The No. 21 jersey also has special significance, as it was worn by Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard in 1991. Standout wideout Junior Hemingway wore No. 21 last season, and senior wideout Roy Roundtree earned the honor this spring in switching from No. 12 to No. 21.

Wolverines coach Brady Hoke made another jersey number announcement Tuesday, telling an Alabama radio station that the team is unretiring the No. 48 donned by former President Gerald Ford. The lone President to play football in the Big Ten, Ford played center for Michigan from 1932-34 and had his number retired on Oct. 8, 1994. Ford's No. 48 is one of just five jerseys (honoring seven different players) retired by Michigan. Ford died in December 2006.

There's no word yet on who will wear No. 48 for Michigan this fall, but it will be a very cool and unique honor. It'd be nice to see Michigan recognize an offensive lineman who displays great leadership. Former center David Molk would have been an excellent selection in 2011.