Friday, May 18, 2012

Roy Roundtree Gets The #21 Jersey

In a surprising move, Brady Hoke has announced that Roy Roundtree will be wearing the #21 jersey next season.  This is the number that Sugar Bowl MVP Junior Hemingway wore last season and that of famed Michigan Heisman winner Desmond Howard.  The jersey and Howard are most famous for his spectacular "Hello Heisman" play against Ohio State.

According to the athletic website, Roundtree was not aware of the decision and simply arrived in the locker room to learn that his jersey number had been changed.  Since the jersey number had been dedicated to Desmond Howard last season in the Under the Lights game, they asked him to comment and he only had positive things to say about Roundtree and the coaching staff's decision.

We actually broke down a similar topic earlier in the year when we discussed the possibility of Roundtree being awarded the #1 jersey, which belonged to famed Michigan receiver Anthony Carter.  Most seemed opposed to the idea and I tend to agree.  However, I'm less opposed to Roundtree receiving the #21 jersey.  Technically, the #1 has not been honored by the athletic department yet, but all Michigan fans know of its importance to the players, fans, and program.

The receiver that gets the #1 jersey is supposed to be the best the best receiver on the field and someone that can simply take over a game.  Roundtree, although talented, probably does not have that capability.  He certainly can make some big plays and impact the game significantly, but I don't see him having a game like Anthony Carter or Braylon Edwards.  These types of receivers were dominant at the position and controlled much of the offense and game.

However, the #21 jersey has its own distinct history.  Demond Howard obviously was a great player and won the Heisman because of his talents, but I have never viewed the #21 in the same way.  I like that they're keeping the jersey with somebody so dedicated to Michigan.  Desmond represents Michigan and college football on an almost daily basis and has a deep love for Michigan.  Junior Hemingway, the receiver that wore the #21 last season, obviously has a deep love for Michigan as well.  I'm sure everybody remembers his emotional speech after the team's Sugar Bowl victory.

I think Roundtree embodies much of this love for the school and program and I think that's probably one of the reasons they decided to give him the jersey.  Along with this, he seems to be set-up for a big season next year and I think he could play a significant role in Michigan's offense.  Now, the only remaining question is whether or not he will live up to the hype and tradition of the jersey.

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