Friday, July 13, 2012

Top Ten (1-5) Players From Ten Year War Part 2

The Ten Year War featured some of the best Wolverine athletes Michigan football has ever had to offer. In Part One of the countdown of the top ten Michigan players through the Ten Year War, there were many impressive names, including Rob Lytle and Randy Logan, but that was  just the first half. Now, we counting down numbers 1-5.

5. Tom Cutis (DB)
Tom Curtis was the greatest pass interceptor to ever play for the University of Michigan. In his three years on the football team, Curtis picked off an amazing 25 passes, including seven his sophomore season, which was a Big Ten record. Eight more INTs in his senior season, along with 45 solo tackles, was more than enough to honor Curtis as an All-American.

At the end of his career at Michigan, Curtis had intercepted 25 passes, returning them for an NCAA record 431 yards. curtis was also named All-Big Ten twice in his college career.

Tom Curtis carried over his career trends into "The Game" with the Buckeyes. Curtis was a constant threat to the OSU offense, picking off a couple passes in three seasons and recording 15 total tackles.

4. Rick Leach (QB)
Rick Leach is considered to be one of the finest athletes to ever wear thing winged helmet. In the beginning of his career at Michigan, Leach made a name for himself with his legs, not his throwing ability. But by the time his junior year rolled around, Leach had developed his passing game and was destroying defenses by way of running and going through the air.

All Michigan's career passing, total offense and touchdown records were broken by the lefthander as well as the season record for touchdown passes (17). He set an NCAA record for most touchdowns accounted for (82) and broke Big Ten records for total offense (6,460) total plays (1,034) and touchdown passes (48). He won the Big Ten batting championship as a junior and became one of the few athletes in modern times to become All-American in both football and baseball.

Rick Leach had very impressive games against Ohio Sate, especially during his junior and senior seasons, when his passing game was developed. The Buckeye had no real answer to one of the few dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation.

3. Mark Donahue (OG)
Mark Donahue is, to this day, one of the most powerful big men on the line that the University of Michigan has ever seen. His power up front made the difference in some games, and he is considered to be one of the greatest pulling guards in Michigan history.

Throughout his career, Donahue made a living as the pulling guard and leading the way Wolverine backs and quarterbacks. He wasn't necessarily the biggest man on the line, but he was very powerful and feared by every defense.

Donahue continued his dominance against the Buckeyes every fall and helped the Wolverines establish a huge advantage running the ball.

2. Dave Brown (DB)
Dave Brown is one of two Wolverines two have been honored as an All-American twice during the time period of the Ten Year War. Brown was a very consistent player for Michigan during his career and produced in every way possible. Brown spent most of his career racking up INTs and solo tackles.

Brown had a high impact during his time playing Ohio State, accounting for 15 solo tackles and an INT.

1. Jim Mandich (TE)
Jim Mandich is arguably the best Tight End to ever come through the Michigan football program. He had a number of skills at the TE position, including great hands and superb blocking ability. Mandich was the perfect combination of size, speed, and strength for the Wolverines in his three years with the team. He was named an All-American during his senior season of 1969.

Mandich caught 119 passes for 1494 yards and seven touchdowns in three-year career. He once had 10 receptions for 156 yards in a single game and had eight catches for 79 yards in the 1970 Rose Bowl. Mandich was elected captain of team and most valuable player. The 6-3, 220 pounder was an All-American prep player at Solon, Ohio.

Jim Mandich was the cause of massive damage against the Buckeyes in his senior season of 1969, the first meeting during the Ten Year War. He was targeted 8 times and caught 7 passes for 82 yards and also contributed in the run game. The Buckeye defense could not slow him down.

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