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: John Navarre
Navarre was a three year starter at quarterback for Michigan from 2000-2003, although he split time with Drew Henson during 2000. In the first start of his career, he broke records for most touchdown passes by a quarterback in their first start and most in a season opener with four passing touchdowns. All three of the teams that Navarre led won at least eight games, including the 2003 team that defeated Ohio State in the 100th anniversary of "The Game" and went to the Rose Bowl. When Navarre graduated he held records for pass attempts, completions, yards in a season and passying yards and touchdown passes in a single game. Many of these records were later broken by Chad Henne, who started 45 games in his tenure at Michigan. Navarre was also the only Michigan quarterback to have defeated Jim Tressel during his tenure at Ohio State, something completely unique to him.
Does John Navarre Deserve A Legends Patch?
Thomas Beindit - No
John Navarre's credentials are quite interesting. His career stats and performances were actually quite impressive, but he still doesn't get a large amount of respect from many Michigan fans. Whether it was because he split the quarterback duties in 2000 or had Chris Perry running the ball in his latter years, many fans just don't think he was that great at Michigan. The main things I credit this to was the fact that he was never the single best player on his team and that Michigan did not do extremely well against its rivals with Navarre. In fact, Michigan only went 6-4 against Notre Dame, MSU, and OSU from 2000-2003, although 2000 was primarily Henson at quarterback. I'm not one that only judges off rivalry games, but that coupled with the fact that he was never an All-American and had very good offensive players on every one of his squads to assist him makes me vote no.
Kyle Curtiss - Yes
Ah, John Navarre. One guy whose career stats say something different than the player. Here are some:
Most pass attempts in a season: 456 (2003)
Most pass completions in a season: 270 (2003)
Most passing yards in a season: 3,331 (2003)
Most passing yards in a game: 389 (2003, vs. Iowa)
Most touchdowns passes in a game: 4 (tied for first), three occasions (2000, vs. Bowling Green; 2002, vs. Western Michigan and vs. Illinois)
Most total offensive plays in a season: 504 (2003)
There were times when he played that I didn't trust him. He'd make a bonehead play or throw an interception that just boggled the mind. Of course, Henne did that just as well. He didn't dominate against rivals, but he was very prolific. Short NFL career kind of made him fade into obscurity. But in the end, he gets a yes from me to receive a Legends Patch.
Tyler Fenwick - Yes
I stared at my computer screen for about ten minutes before I finally decided on a yes; I believe John Navarre deserves a Legends Patch. The numbers he was able to put up with the Wolverines are absolutely unbelievable. John Navarre is one of my earliest Michigan memories as a child, and I remember always being in awe at what he was able to do at the quarterback position. And, as we all know, a Legends Patch is more than just the numbers; it's also the contribution. Navarre brought a certain spirit and passion to the Wolverines during his time in a winged helmet that will never go forgotten. For that, I believe John Navarre deserves a Legends 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,