Quarterbacks usually wear low jersey numbers somewhere between 1-19, but that will not be the case for Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner.
Gardner switched to jersey number 98 in honor of 1940 Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon for the Notre Dame game at the Big House on Saturday, and he will wear the number for the remainder of the season. Harmon achieved Michigan Football Legend status.
“My father would be only proud,” actor Mark Harmon said on Saturday before the game, via the Detroit Free Press. “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.”
Gardner was extremely grateful for the honor.
“It’s difficult to say how honored I am to wear No. 98,” Gardner said in a statement via MLive.com. “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.”
Michigan also tweeted the announcement on Saturday and included this picture of Gardner in the 98 jersey without pads: