The No. 1 has been a hallowed number at the University of Michigan.
According to MGOBLUE, the No. 1 has been worn by 12 different players in the program’s history. The number was popularized when Michigan All-American receiver Anthony Carter donned the number from 1979-1982. Since Carter put on No. 1, five receivers have received the honor including Greg McMurty (1986-89), Derrick Alexander (1990-93), Tyrone Butterfield (1994-96), David Terrell (1998-2000), Braylon Edwards (2003-04) and Devin Funchess (2014).
The number is obviously an important one to be worn by a Michigan player and Edwards believes there should be some competition for the right to wear it.
Since 2006, Edwards has created a scholarship that is given to the player who is awarded the No. 1 jersey. The scholarship was worth $500,000 and, in the event no one was granted No. 1, would be awarded to a player “exhibits exceptional off-field behavior and conducts himself as a team player”.
“Coach Harbaugh understands the importance of No. 1,” Edwards said Monday night at Cass Tech High School in Detroit during the Michigan Youth Impact Program draft. “He came right after A.C. (Anthony Carter), but he knows A.C., he knows me. He’s going to make the best decision in that situation. The only thing I can ask him to do is just have an open battle and whoever deserves it, give them the jersey, don’t predetermine, make these kids go through and fight for it.”
Edwards of course sported No. 80 in his first two seasons in Ann Arbor before being given the honor of the No. 1 jersey from former U-M head coach Lloyd Carr.
“I think it would make everyone involved better because if you’ve got guys and you tell them, ‘Hey, you can get that No. 1 if you win this,’ they’re going to fight for it, as opposed to ‘Hey, you’re No. 1’ and I’d say, ‘I’m already the man,'” Edwards said.