You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

Could QB Denard Robinson wear the No. 1 jersey? Michigan football coach Brady Hoke doesn't dismiss idea

By Kyle Meinke


The No. 1 jersey traditionally has been reserved for the Michigan football team's top wide receiver, but there's been speculation that quarterback Denard Robinson could wear the iconic number. Robinson, however, prefers his No. 16. "I feel it's a receiver thing, but if they wanted to give it to me, I don't know what I'd do with it," he said.

Melanie Maxwell |

One of the more intriguing subplots to unfold after the Michigan football team's spring game was the prospects the No. 1 jersey could be doled out next year.

And that it could be given to someone other than a receiver.

When asked about the jersey, which traditionally is given to the program's most elite wideouts, coach Brady Hoke said "we'll consider" handing it out next season.


With Denard Robinson limited, defense 'wins' Michigan spring game

Michigan not happy with its defense, showing importance of Will Campbell

’Battering ram’ Thomas Rawls caps productive spring behind Fitz Toussaint

Desmond Morgan, Jerald Robinson among players injured in spring game

Play-by-play review and unofficial statistics

Spring game photo gallery

Video: Brady Hoke, Greg Mattison and Al Borges discuss the spring game

Body fat, and camaraderie, high as ever at the alumni flag football game

Alumni game photo gallery

Senior Roy Roundtree seems to be the only candidate. The wideout twice has led the Wolverines in receiving, and had a 72-catch season in 2010. His production dropped off last year, though, when he caught 19 passes.

But what about the prospects of senior quarterback Denard Robinson wearing it? It's an idea that has been endorsed by former receiver Braylon Edwards, who was the last player to wear the No. 1 and has endowed a scholarship fund for it.

Robinson doesn't play receiver, but is one of the Wolverines' most electrifying players.

"We have 115 guys on the team," Hoke said of the idea. "They’re all possibilities.”

OK, it's probably unlikely long-sapper Jareth Glanda will ever wear the No. 1, but it's still interesting Hoke didn't shoot down the possibility it could be given to Robinson.

It remains, though, an unlikely proposition. Robinson, for his part, seemed caught off-guard by the idea.

"That's an off-the-wall question," he said. "Sixteen is my number. I feel it's a receiver thing, but if they wanted to give it to me, I don't know what I'd do with it."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Sat, May 19, 2012 : 3:50 a.m.

Denard deserves the #1 jersey times 100. Personally, I think he is the most exciting and dynamic offensive player in Michigan history. Give that young man the #1.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Hell...I say give him the number and see if he can match it with the number of career wins that he will have vs. Michigan State before he leaves! Doubt it! Where's the threat?


Tue, May 1, 2012 : 6:20 a.m.

Where's the threat, you ask? Look at your highly-rated recruits this year and next. Oh, my bad, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY. Goodbye, Sparty. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Greg M

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

A lot of comments about hypocrisy concerning R Rod and Hoke… Although, it may be "hypocritical", R Rod was a pathetic disaster to the Michigan Football Program. He was a lousy coach, ran the football program into the ground and the good recruits we did get, were, sadly, underdeveloped and poorly coached leading to a dismal and humiliating win record. Not only did he embarrass our football program, he short changed the young men that had promise to become great and reduced them to his (R Rod's) level of inadequacy. To put it simply…R Rod was a fool in charge and anyone that follows a fool is an even bigger fool. That's why he had opposition. Brady Hoke comes into the picture and takes the same group of young men and transforms them from "The Bad News Bears" into an elite group of talent in a single season. SMART people follow a man who proves himself to be a great leader because you trust him to lead you to victory. That is not hypocritical, that's having enough faith to trust the ideas and innovation of a respected leader and NOT an idiot.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

How did Rodriguez's teams ever manage to win both the Sugar (vs. UGA) and Fiesta (vs. OU) if he is such a bad coach? His teams were competitive vs. MSU. Hoke was 47-50 at Ball State and SDSU. His team was CRUSHED by MSU. Where's the threat?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I'm sure that teams which are "traditionally ranked" below 25th in the country have jersey number traditions too. How many of us can name the players on those teams which have held the honor of wearing that team's No. 1 jersey? Show of hands. .... That's what I thought. ;-) Now lets think about the significance of "reserving jersey numbers" in sports: we also have the "retiring" of jersey numbers to honor one all-time great player on a particular team. But there's always controversy over who gets that honor too. And then the tradition ends when the available numbers becomes too small to "fit the team." Denard's reaction to this idea of "awarding him" a jersey number he doesn't want reminds me of the time one of my grandmothers gifted me with a necktie (pink & green) which she'd knitted herself. I was... "so honored" that I put that necktie away to "preserve it for all time." Now lets consider what happens if Denard Robinson is given the No. 1 jersey and breaks his leg in the first game of the 2012 season. Oops! The No. 1 jersey instantly becomes a curse no one wants!


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

Danard will be lucky to escape Dallas without a broken matter what number he wears. He was 9 of 24 vs. the MSU defense in 2011. MSU recorded 8 sacks. On September 1st he gets to face the best defense in the country. Talk on this Board isn't going to help him then....and neither would the marching band. LOL!


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

So you're saying that if a receiver had the #1 jersey and broke his leg in the first game, it'd be different?

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

As a traditionalist I think the number should go to the left tackle.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 8:01 a.m.

Just something this reporter does to get a rise of you stiffs. Wouldn't put it past him to suggest changing the colors to green and white to get a respnse.

Steve McQueen

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:48 a.m.

Why does the media keep asking this question about who is going to wear 1...over and over... its like all of the BWC stories... enough already, who cares. If Denard is told to wear 1, it would be a gimmick and put a big target on his back that he does not need. Denard is 16.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

What a bunch of hypocrites. When RR accidentally let a DB have the #1 jersey, the entire wolverine nation went into a tizzy about, "RR doesn't respect UM traditions", and "RR doesn't KNOW Michigan." There was not a single UM fan on the boards following that incident that wasn't cursing RR. Now that it's Hoke that is saying it's OK to break tradition, half of you people are on board. PUHLEAZ!


Sat, May 19, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

I will always be a fan of Rich Rodriguez. I thought he got a very raw deal at Michigan. That whole episode sadly put the Michigan faithful in a very bad light. That said, I am happy with Brady Hoke and I am happy for RR now that he is at Arizona where he can build his program.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

Rich Rod didn't tell anyone to "get a life" regarding "The Game". His "get a life" comment was about the WVU fans who went so far as to threaten his family because of the way he left.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

The high school kid you refer to was an incoming freshman who had already signed his letter of intent in Feb, three months before the "incident". So, he was not purposefully using the sacred tradition as a recruiting tool, he we just giving a DB an appropriate number. One that the player had not even asked for, by the way.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 7:23 p.m.

Ignorance. The outcry was due to the story of him offering the #1 jersey to a HS Recruit to come play for Michigan. A far cry from the non-statment you got from Hoke. For all the RR lovers here, how many times has Hoke told fans to get a life regarding The Game? RR + worst decision in Michigan Football History.

Steve McQueen

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:53 a.m.

who is this "RR" you speak of?

Terry Star21

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:22 a.m.

You are right there what you said, "RR doesn't respect UM traditions".....but then everybody already knew that !

Susie Q

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 11:47 p.m.

OMG! If Rich Rod had suggested something like that he'd have been accused of ignorance of Michigan's TRADITIONS, disrespect, stupidity and not fit to wear the maize and blue. The comment section would have 250 comments by now. Denard wearing the #1 is an intriguing idea, but I think he looks just fine in #16. But, wait, UM could probably sell a whole lot more Denard jerseys if he switched numbers.....maybe that is the plan.

Steve McQueen

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

I do agree with you on the 250 comments thing though... it would be interesting to see how's web traffic and click throughs are now...vs during the Rich Rod Error.

Steve McQueen

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:50 a.m.

Oh Susie I love you...Susie Q. But I disagree with your suggestion about Rich Rod. This #1 thing keeps coming out of the mouths of the MEDIA over and over and over... what is Coach Hoke supposed to say "No Comment"? Basically he dismissed the question with that vague answer, as he should have.

Terry Star21

Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:19 a.m.

Are you saying then, the old coach wasn't all those things you mentioned......seriously ?


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

I can't agree more Susie Q. What a bunch of hypocrites!!


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

I'm sure Dave Brandon is very interested to see if he can sell more jerseys. nd you're absolutely right Susie, RR would be blasted if he ever thought of giving it to a non WR.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

Susie Q It's because he WAS ignorant of Michigan traditions, made very poor decisions and lead Michigan into the worst stretch of football in it's 132 year history! OMG! If Rich Rod...please. Don't mention his name here, we have suffered enough.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

If any player has earned the right to wear the #1, it's DR. Through Michigan's transitioning period, DR has been the face of Michigan Football. Two year starter with 2 different coaches, 2 different systems, but yet, carried both coaches. 18-8 record as a starter, NCAA record holder and an electric player on and off the field. The only thing that hasn't changed through this period is DR's will to win and his electric smile. #1 in my book, regardless the jersey #.


Sun, Apr 22, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Earn the right? What has Denard done to earn the right? Beat Minnesota 59-0? Lead the offense to 184 yards and 1.6 yards per carry vs. VTech? Denard is the MOST OVERRATED player in the country. Where's the threat?

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

BTW - It should be the head coaches decision, and it should be on the playing field every signal game for Michigan !

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:39 p.m.

I think it would be great, #1 should be in the end zone all the time = DRob......but doesn't Braylon put a lot of money in UM for a receiver to wear that, can Hoke control that - I think he should have final say. I want to wait and hear ted's thoughts.... MgoBlueForTiM......#1 in the end zone, forever....


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Who cares? Bo would have burned it if he had known what it would have lead to like now? This is Michigan not about jersey #1.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:48 p.m.

The #1 jersey is the biggest joke of a "tradition" we've ever had. It literally has NEVER been awarded to the top receiver as seems to be the rumors.


Mon, Apr 16, 2012 : 5:44 a.m.

I agree TS21. The #1 jersey is apart of Mich tradition now.

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

This Is Michigan for sure, but it is about the #1 jersey too...


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

Hoke won't give the press anything, so they talk about what he hasn't came out and made a decision on, haha. It's too bad the media is the way they are or we could get actual opinions from the coaches from time to time without fear.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

If you want the number 1 jersey to cross the goal line the most and gain the most yards for the season in spectacular fashion, Denard is the man for the number.

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Right you are !!!!!


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

The No. 1 jersey should not be handed out to the top receiver of each class, it should be reserved for truly special players that must earn the right to wear that number. It can and should also be used as a recruiting tool as in "come to Michigan and we think you have what it takes to wear the coveted No. 1 jersey..." No disrespect to Roy Roundtree, but I'm not sure he has earned the right. All that being said, I'm OK with it being given to truly special players regardless of position. Denard certainly has earned the right to wear that jersey if they decide to go that route. Just my 2 cents..


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 5:02 p.m.

No, Terry Star21. Nowhere does it say that his endowment is contingent on a receiver getting the #1 jersey. It's to be awarded to a "student-athlete" and is supposed to be tied to work on and off the field. And come on... Braylon Edwards is the last person to wear the number, so it hasn't gone to anyone at all despite his endowment.

Terry Star21

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

I AGREE....but doesn't Braylon put a lot of money @ UM for a receiver to wear that.....don't you remember he got all over the past coach in 2008 because he just gave it out ? It should be the head coaches decision, and it should be on the playing field every signal game.

Scott Laux

Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 5 p.m.

Bad idea. Break with tradition. #1 only for the top receiver. So...give it to Devin Gardner. Ditto key cheese- early start to his NFL career.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

When was the 1 ever "traditionally" given to the top receiver?


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

By rewarding Robinson with a WR number, he'd also be getting an early start on his NFL career.


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

You say that like playing WR in the NFL is a crap job.


Sun, Apr 15, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Intriguing, indeed. Not that Braylon Edwards has the final say, but I am glad he is not opposed to the idea. Bottom line: so what happens to all of the fans who are walking around wearing the number 16 jersey? Kind of like Dale Earnhardt Jr switching from the number 8 to the 88 car for the NASCAR fans...


Tue, Apr 17, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Not honoring a player who deserves it because of the impact on jersey sales, prior or future, is something Alabama would do. This isn't Alabama. Screw the "fans" and their jerseys. You honor those who deserve it.