Sept. 10, 2010
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Heisman Trophy winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and former University of Michigan football star Desmond Howard (1989-91) was selected by the Big Ten Network as the conference's 34th-best student-athlete of all-time as part of the "Big Ten Icons" series. The program counts down the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history based on their collegiate playing careers.
Howard won the Heisman Trophy, earned consensus All-America honors, was the Maxwell Award winner and the Walter Camp Player of the Year during the 1991 season. In addition, Howard became the first receiver in history to lead the Big Ten Conference in scoring, and he set or tied five NCAA records and 12 single-season Michigan records during his final collegiate season.
Howard finished his U-M career with 134 receptions for 2,146 yards and 32 touchdowns and holds Michigan single-season records for touchdowns (23) and points scored (138). Howard was a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection and still holds the conference record with 19 receiving touchdowns during the 1991 season. He graduated from Michigan with a bachelor's degree in mass communications.
Howard parlayed his outstanding collegiate career into an 11-year professional football career. Selected by the Washington Redskins with the fourth overall pick of the 1992 NFL Draft, he also played with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions during his career. Howard became the first special teams player to be named Most Valuable Player in a Super Bowl, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy with the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. His 99-yard kickoff return against the New England Patriots is a Super Bowl record and his 870 punt return yards in a single season remain the NFL's benchmark. Howard was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2000 while playing for the Lions.
Since concluding his playing career after the 2002 season, Howard has been inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame, the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan Hall of Honor, the State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and most recently the College Football Hall of Fame.
Howard is currently a college football analyst on ESPN's College Football GameDay Show and works the Detroit Lions preseason football games as an analyst on the TV broadcasts.
Big Ten Icons 50 through 21 are being unveiled through Sept. 16 at BigTenIcons.com. The website features essays, video and other facts about each student-athlete's career. Viewers also can participate in the "Talk of the Locker Room" contest with a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Weekly winners take home a 55-inch Phillips HD television.
The television series, hosted by legendary college sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, debuts Sept. 18 following a Big Ten Network football telecast in which Icon No. 20 will be revealed. The countdown continues at 9 p.m. every Tuesday night through the end of football season and into the spring. The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed around the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.
Contact: Dave Ablauf (734) 763-4423