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Does a sophomore deserve a Michigan Football Legends number? Hoke says yes

Was sophomore tight end Devin Funchess derserving of a Michigan Football Legends number? Hoke thinks so.

Devin Funchess
Devin Funchess
Gregory Shamus

Third-year coach Brady Hoke assigned Michigan Football Legends numbers Tuesday.

Seniors Jeremy Gallon and Courtney Avery earned the No. 21 and 11 jerseys, respectively.

However, the Wolverines also awarded sophomore Devin Funchess with former First-Team All-American Ron Kramer’s No. 87 jersey. Kramer was a tight end who many U-M fans hold near to their hearts, and so does Hoke.

"Ron was a tremendous athlete and maybe the best athlete to every play at the University of Michigan," he said Tuesday.

The problem here is: Does an under-performing sophomore deserve the right to wear Kramer’s jersey?

No.

Funchess, who looks like a monster and has the body of a power forward, was nonexistent for most of the 2012 season. He finished with 15 receptions for only 234 yards and five touchdowns.

Not to mention, the reasons why Hoke thinks Funchess deserves the jersey are head scratching.

"Being a tight end, we wanted to try to keep (the number) within that position," Hoke said. "If you look at the tight end position, we don’t have any older guys (to give the jersey to)."

The Legends numbers will lose its meaning if Hoke continues to hand out jerseys for no reason. There’s a reason why the infamous No. 1 jersey hasn’t been handed out since wide receiver Braylon Edwards left for the NFL Draft.

Apparently, it’s not "what have you done for me lately?" but "what are you going to do for me in the future?"

Funchess will perform better on the field this season, but I think the jersey shouldn’t have been given to him until next year, assuming he puts up video game numbers or grows into a leadership role.