Top 5 Quarterbacks in Michigan Football History


The Michigan Wolverines are one of the most successful teams in college football history. That doesn’t come by accident, and in fact, it comes by leadership. The quarterback position is the biggest leadership position there is in football. Throughout Michigan’s rich history, they have had many great leaders at quarterback, they were All-Americans, Big Ten Champions, and even National Champions.

These are the Top 5 University of Michigan quarterbacks of all time.

#5 – Tom Brady

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Tom Brady spent his first two seasons behind starter Brian Griese, watching him win the National Championship in 1997. Eventually, Brady battled with Drew Henson and won the starting job, starting every game in 1998 and 1999. Brady set Michigan records for pass completions and pass attempts, and led the team in winning the Citrus Bowl in 98′ and the Orange Bowl in 99′. Although his numbers weren’t flashy, he was still efficient and is now one of the best QBs of all time in the NFL.

#4 – Chad Henne

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Chad Henne was a four-year starter for the Wolverines from 2004 to 2007, something that is very hard to do. Although he never did beat Ohio State and only won one bowl game (Capital One Bowl, 2007), he holds Michigan records for the most passing touchdowns and passing yards and is second all-time in Big Ten history with 87 passing touchdowns. Henne was one heck of a quarterback for the four years he was in Ann Arbor.

 #3 – Jim Harbaugh

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Jim Harbaugh knew what it was like to be successful in the maize and blue. Harbaugh was the starter from 1984 through 1986 and quickly became a fan favorite. He became the first Michigan QB to throw for 300 yards in a game. 1986 was Harbaugh’s breakout year, gaining All-American honors and finishing third in Heisman Trophy voting. Harbaugh was best known for guaranteeing a win vs Ohio State in 86′ and staying true to his promise on their way to winning the Big Ten.

#2 – Benny Friedman

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Perhaps the most all-around quarterback the Wolverines have boasted, Benny Friedman became the starting QB and placekicker along with playing defense in the backfield in his sophomore season. Friedman is the only Michigan QB to be a two-time All-American, and he also led the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1925 and 1926.  Friedman was so good that legendary coach Fielding Yost came out of retirement just to coach him. Friedman also went on to become a pro football Hall of Famer in 2005.

#1 – Rick Leach

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Bo Schembechler was quoted as saying that Rick Leach was the greatest quarterback that he had ever been associated with. For Bo to say that it has to mean that he was pretty good, and he was. To put how good Leach was into perspective, he led Michigan to three consecutive Rose Bowls from 1977 to 1979. Leach was also a four-year starter and a ground threat, with 34 rushing touchdowns to go along with 48 passing TDs. Leach holds the NCAA record for the highest percentage of passing touchdowns and won three Big Ten championships. It is quite hard not to look at him as the best in Michigan history.

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