Devin Gardner is honoring a Michigan Wolverines legend against Notre Dame by rocking a No. 98 jersey, per the Wolverines Twitter account. No. 98 was once worn by halfback Tom Harmon, a former No. 1 NFL draft pick back in 1941.
Per MLive.com, Gardner chose to wear the number after constantly seeing Harmon's image around the facilities.
"It's difficult to say how honored I am to wear No. 98," Gardner said in a statement. "You see Tom Harmon photos and prints all over our building, knowing all the things he accomplished on the field for this program and then representing our country, and to have the opportunity to speak to his family today, it's kind of surreal.
"I'm extremely humbled and blessed."
Harmon is one of the most successful players in Michigan football history. During his time as a Wolverine, Harmon racked up 2,134 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also filled the roles of kicker and quarterback at Michigan, making two field goals, 33 extra points and throwing for 16 touchdowns.
Harmon is a "Legends Jersey" recipient this season, according to MLive.com. He joins guys like Desmond Howard and Gerald Ford as former players who have been given the honor.
In 1940, Harmon won the Heisman Trophy, leading to him being selected first overall in the 1941 NFL draft.
Harmon also spent time as a World War II pilot for the Army and as a sports broadcaster. He is also the father of Hollywood actor Mark Harmon, the star of CBS' NCIS.
According to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, Mark Harmon said that because of how humble his father was, he would've been embarrassed but proud to see the number worn by Gardner.
“My father would be only proud,” Mark Harmon said in a press conference before Saturday’s Michigan-Notre Dame game. “He’d be embarrassed, but he’d be proud. Embarrassed because he was a humble man and he thought no one did it alone…. For Michigan, it’s an important day in recognizing my dad, both deserved. There wasn’t anything my dad did in his life that didn’t have the word Michigan attached to it.”
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