Roy Roundtree will wear No. 21 'legend' jersey for Michigan football team
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Former Michigan football star and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard will have a presence once again for the Wolverines in 2012.
Michigan announced Friday that senior receiver Roy Roundtree will wear Howard's No. 21 "Michigan Football Legend" uniform next season.
Prior to its game against Notre Dame last season, Michigan announced the jersey would be the first to hold the distinction. Worn by wideout Junior Hemingway last season, the jersey includes a patch with Howard's name.
"Coach Hoke and I discussed it, and one day I came into the locker room and went to the No. 12 locker and didn't see my name anymore. I laughed, looked around and there it was, at No. 21," Roundtree said in a statement. "I know what it takes to wear the winged helmet and I know what it takes to be a Michigan football player. I won't disappoint wearing this jersey.
"It's an honor to be associated with Desmond Howard. I will live with it for the rest of my life. It's a blessing."
"To wear the No. 21 jersey at Michigan is an honor," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. "Desmond was a special player and is a special person who represents everything great about Michigan. Roy is deserving of the honor to wear that legendary jersey.
"Roy graduated in April and is taking graduate classes, and he's become one of the leaders of Team 133, on and off the field. He's earned it."
Roundtree made 19 catches for 355 yards and two touchdowns as a junior a year ago, but is expected to move into Michigan's No. 1 receiver role next season.
Earlier this spring, Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges announced that Roundtree would move to flanker -- the position Hemingway held a year ago.
Shortly after spring practice ended, Roundtree was vocal about his desire to possibly wear Michigan's legendary No. 1 jersey for his senior season, a jersey typically given to a standout wide receiver.
However, it appears No. 21 will work just as well.
"I am very pleased that Roy will be wearing the number 21 this year," Howard said in a statement. "He is the type of kid who is always positive, upbeat and wearing a smile on his face. Roy embraces the concept of 'team' that was instilled in us by Coach Schembechler so many years ago. Less concerned with his personal production declining under a new coaching regime, he just wanted Team 132 to win -- and win they did.
"Equally as important is Roy's dedication to his education. Having already earned his undergraduate degree this spring, Roy will be pursuing a post-graduate degree while playing for the Wolverines this fall. He is an excellent choice."