Ultimate Michigan Football Roster: Defensive Backs


Oct 5, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess (18) receives congratulations from safety Jarrod Wilson (22) and cornerback Courtney Avery (11) after scoring on a interception return in the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue with our reveal of the Ultimate Michigan Football roster, we stay on the defensive side of the ball, and move on to the defensive backs. For this roster there will be five cornerbacks and four safeties. Keep in mind that only these players’ Michigan careers are considered when coming up with the roster.

Starting Cornerbacks- The starting cornerbacks on the team are Charles Woodson and Leon Hall. Woodson is not only the greatest defensive back, but arguably the greatest player period, to ever put on a Michigan uniform. He played at Michigan from 1995-97 and was a two-time first team All-American. In ’97 he helped lead Michigan to a National Championship and became the only primarily defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Jim Thorpe Award. He ranks second in Michigan history with 18 career interceptions, despite teams rarely throwing to his side of the field. Hall played at Michigan from 2003-06 and is the Wolverines all-time leader in career pass breakups with 43. He was a consensus first team All-American in 2006.

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Backup Cornerbacks- The backups at cornerback are Marlin Jackson, Ty Law, and Brad Cochran. Jackson played at Michigan from 2001-04, and ranks third in Michigan history is career pass breakups. He was a first team All-American in 2002, and a consensus first team All-American in 2004.  Law played at Michigan from 1992-94 under Gary Moeller. He was a first team All-American selection by Walter Camp in ’94. Cochran played three seasons at defensive back at Michigan from 1983-85, after converting from linebacker. He was a consensus first team All-American in 1985.

Starting Safeties- The starting safeties are Tripp Welborne and Dave Brown. Welborne played at Michigan from 1987-90. He came to Michigan as a receiver, but switched to safety as a sophomore. He was a two-time consensus first team All-American in ’89 and ’90. Brown played under Bo Schembechler from 1972-74. The College Football Hall of Famer was a two-time consensus first team All-American. He was a part of three Big Ten Championship teams.

Backup Safeties- The backup safeties are Thom Darden and Tom Curtis. Darden played at Michigan from 1969-71, Bo Schembechler’s first three seasons as head coach. He was a first team All-Big Ten selection in 1970 and 1971, and was also a first team All-American in ’71. Curtis played at Michigan from 1967-69. He switched to safety after playing quarterback on the freshman team in 1966. The College Football Hall of Famer was a consensus first team All-American in 1969. He is Michigan’s all-time leader in career interceptions with 25.

Next: Ultimate Michigan Roster: Linebackers