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 Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

Michigan, College Hall of Fame will honor Desmond Howard at halftime Saturday

By Staff


Desmond Howard stretches to catch a game-winning touchdown against Notre Dame in 1991.

Courtesy National Football Foundation

Twenty years after Desmond Howard's diving, game-winning catch against Notre Dame, he'll be in the spotlight again at Michigan Stadium.

A halftime salute to honor the former Michigan star and 1991 Heisman Trophy winner is planned Saturday at the Notre Dame at Michigan football game, the first night football game in Michigan Stadium history (8 p.m., ESPN).

Howard will be honored by Michigan and by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. Howard was enshrined earlier this year in the hall of fame. He said then that his catch against Notre Dame changed his life.

“The next thing I know, I’m on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and that’s what really got the ball rolling for me,” Howard said in July.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Tuesday that the halftime ceremony will not include retiring Howard's No. 21.

"We're going to recognize Desmond, and you stay tuned on how that's going to happen," Brandon said. "The retirement of jerseys is something we've been pretty public about in terms of having some serious difficulties and limitations. So I would not look forward to that, but I would look forward to some other things."

It's a big weekend for Howard, who has a new book out titled "I Wore 21," and is part of the ESPN "College GameDay" crew, which will broadcast from Ingalls Mall on Saturday.

Howard finished his Michigan career with 134 receptions, 2,146 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns. He scored 23 touchdowns his senior season, a Michigan record.


Blu n Tpa

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

The call was so breathtaking in its gamble that it made the results so historic, so iconic, that I would guess that for anyone who saw that play live, you were standing and yelling as the ball left Grbac's hand. I know I didn't have a choice because we were sitting on about the 10 yards line on that side of the field and it was like a bottom to top wave as everyone stood to get a better view. It was the best game I ever saw in Michigan Statium. (I brought 2 tickets the night before at a diner on US 23 based on a telephone conversation from my hotel room. I was thinking Jimmy Hoffa.) It would be good timing for history to repeat itself. TiM Go Blue!

John of Saline

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

I was there for that catch. It was fourth down. I remember swearing as Grbac dropped back to pass. "Seriously?" But it worked, and I saw the catch and the whole stadium shook as the crowd went nuts. I think the story is that Desmond and Elvis were the only two on the field aware of the play ahead of time.


Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 6:04 p.m.

I think of all the Michigan football plays I've witnessed over the years, that one catch stands out. It wasn't just the athletic accomplishment ... it was also the gutsy call. I didn't see that call coming. Not at all. I watched that game in a bar somewhere in Ann Arbor. Can't recall the bar. I do recall I was in a bar. There was a table full of Notre Dame fans and during that game I'd buy their table a pitcher for every TD scored by Michigan, and they'd buy my table one for every ND TD. Overall it was a very enjoyable time.


Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

The game was a bit before my time at the U; but I think your pitcher idea was a good one. The UofM/ND rivalry is different than any other UofM rivalry. Its build on a degree of respect for the other University and at the same time a desire to be recognized as better than the other. I wouldn't buy a fan from that team down south a pitcher of anything for an reason.

dave harris

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

An open letter to Desmond Howard. I don't envy all the awards you received, or your amazing football ability, or even your incisive broadcasting skills. What I envy is your incredible wardrobe. It is classy and tastefull. And I think it's all my size, except maybe around the waist.

David Briegel

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

David, Aahhh, the memories of playing with my brother in the yard. It was the 50's and 60's so we had different heroes but the fantasizing was special! And no it's not easy! Congratulations to Desmond. A true credit the Michigan Man mystique!

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Sep 6, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

My younger brother and I used to practice that play all the time...Grbac to Howard, diving catch! It's not nearly as easy as Howard made it look, lol