Since Desmond Howard became the first Michigan player to receive a Legends Patch, there has been much debate surrounding which players deserve the award as well. In an effort to settle some of the debate, we will be breaking down a former Michigan football player that we believe should be analyzed as a nominee for a Legends Patch. This does not mean our writers believe they should be formally nominated in some way, but only that their credentials should be reviewed. If you have an opinion please comment or contact our writers via Twitter.
Nominee: Jim Mandich
"Combined great pass catching with sturdy blocking at tight end to make virtually every All-American squad including Academic All-American. Caught 119 passes for 1494 yards and seven touchdowns in three-year career. Once had 10 receptions for 156 yards in single game and had eight catches for 79 yards in 1970 Rose Bowl. Elected captain of team and most valuable player. The 6-3, 220 pounder was an All-American prep player at Solon, Ohio." - Bentley Historical Library
Does Jim Mandich Deserve A Legends Patch?
Thomas Beindit - Yes
There are many reasons that Jim Mandich qualifies for a Legends Patch. The first and primary reason is that he was an outstanding player for Michigan. He was a consensus All-American player and is probably the best tight end in Michigan history. He played three years and caught 119 passes for 1494 yards. This is one of the main reasons we recently selected him as the best Michigan player in the Ten Year War. He also contributed to one of the most legendary Michigan teams and games in school history. He was a major contributor in 1969 when he was named an All-American and did major damage to OSU in the season finale. The 1969 game is considered the game that put Michigan back to the top of the Big Ten and kick-started the Ten Year War. There's no doubt he was a great player, but when you also consider the timing of his contributions, there's no doubt that he's a Michigan legend.
Kyle Curtiss - Yes
Jim Mandich? Hmmm. It's tough to gauge some players who have passed away. It's sad that Mandich died of cancer at an early age of 62. Please keep in mind that in his senior season, he was a consensus first-team All-American. That's not a designation that's easy to come by. In an age of running the ball, and Schembechler's offense, the position of tight end was difficult. It was a pro-style offense for sure, but more focused on running the ball. Mandich still shined, even given the fact he was on the team that weathered the storm between Bump Elliott and Schembechler. What swayed my opinion is the fact that Mandich, as a tight end, is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Now I know some of the players we debate about probably share the same distinction....but this is a tight end. Mandich didn't have eye popping statistics, but what he meant to the team and what he did in the 1970 Rose Bowl speaks volumes. So while I usually say no to most players, and for good reason; I'm going to say yes for Mandich.
Tyler Desy- No
I'm going to have to go against the grain on this one. Was Mandich a phenomenal player for Michigan? Yes. As you can see, my two colleagues have pledged that he does deserve a Legends Patch, but I say no. Let me tell you why. Mandich was a great player and a big part of Michigan's history and the Ten Year War But let's compare him to the one player that currently has a Legends Patch. Desmond Howard. There are many arguments why Desmond is more deserving and I'll just go with one...Heisman Trophy. Mandich was great but he only scored 7 touchdowns. Sure, he caught quite a few balls, but it was a run happy offense. He was mainly an extra lineman so he more contributed in helping with the run game. Yes he was an All-American but his numbers don't really merit him getting a patch. There have been many great tight ends in Michigan history, Mandich was certainly one of the best, but I don't think what he did stands out enough over other Michigan legends that makes him deserving of a patch. That's why there is only one so far and that man is Desmond Howard....the resume needs to be pretty good to get put into that category and unfortunately, I don't think Jim Mandich is in that conversation. I will probably catch fire for this but that's ok. Jim Mandich was a great player for Michigan but I don't think he should get a patch.
All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with their thoughts,