LB wears Gerald Ford's number

Updated: October 13, 2012, 7:18 PM ET
By Michael Rothstein | WolverineNation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan was awarded the No. 48 jersey of former United States President Gerald R. Ford prior to Saturday's game against Illinois.

Ford played at Michigan from 1932 to 1934 as a center and a linebacker. He won two national championships in 1932 and 1933 and was named Michigan's most valuable player in 1934.

Ford spent 25 years in Congress and ascended to the vice presidency due to the 25th amendment after the resignation of Spiro Agnew in 1973. The following year, after Richard Nixon resigned, Ford became the 38th president of the United States.

Ford died in 2006 at the age of 93.

Morgan is Michigan's fourth-leading tackler with 28 and tied for the team lead with four tackles for loss. He has 91 tackles and eight tackles for loss in his career.

This is the third jersey Michigan has put back into circulation this season, joining the No. 47 of Bennie Oosterbaan, which was given to linebacker Jake Ryan, and the No. 87 of Ron Kramer, given to tight end Brandon Moore.

Last season, Michigan honored Desmond Howard with a legends patch on the No. 21 jersey worn by then-Wolverines receiver Junior Hemingway.

Michigan has continued to honor its legendary players this season.

"The success and acceptance of the Desmond Howard 'Legend' recognition led to conversations with the family members who had retired jerseys, several of whom were never recognized or celebrated in the appropriate manner," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement in June. "The Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan families want to see their family member honored in this way."

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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