Desmond Howard honored as 'Michigan legend'

By Larry Lage

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 10 2011 6:45 p.m. MDT

Michigan fans wave pom-poms as the First half kicks off in an NCAA college football game between Michigan and Notre Dame, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, in Ann Arbor, Mich. This is the first ever night game to be played at Michigan Stadium.

Tony Ding, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Desmond Howard was brought to tears when he was honored as the first "Michigan Football Legend" in a ceremony before the game against Notre Dame on Saturday night.

"This honor is something I will cherish every day of my life," Howard told the crowd at Michigan Stadium.

The school announced Howard's name will always be on the jersey of whomever is wearing No. 21, starting with receiver Junior Hemingway against the Fighting Irish.

"This is a great way to honor our legends," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement. "Desmond will be the first in what will become a unique way to honor some of our Michigan football greats. Many of our current fans and players don't know or remember the five jerseys that we have previously retired and who wore them.

"This concept is a visible representation of iconic figures in our program's storied history that fans across the country will see every Saturday."

Howard will also be the first Wolverines player featured in a new display at Schembechler Hall. Hemingway's lockers — and those who wear No. 21 in the future — at Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium will also be customized to reflect that Howard has been recognized as a "Michigan Football Legend."

Howard won the 1991 Heisman Trophy, sparked by a diving touchdown catch against Notre Dame in a sensational season he capped by striking the Heisman pose after scoring on a punt return against Ohio State. He is a College Football Hall of Famer and an ESPN analyst.

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