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June 14, 2012 - 7:02pm

Ford, Kramer, Oosterbaan to be Football Legends


Courtesy of Bentley Historical Library

Just nine months after Desmond Howard was recognized as a legend during the 2011 season, three more former Wolverine all-time greats will join Howard for the honorable distinction.

Former ends Bennie Oosterbaan and Ron Kramer, and former center Gerald Ford will be commemorated as “Michigan Football Legends.”

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon announced on Tuesday that the three former players — whose numbers were originally retired — will be honored during the 2012 season. Oosterbaan, Ford and Kramers’ numbers will be reinstated, and patches with their names will be placed on the No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 jerseys, respectively.

In addition, a special designated area within Schembechler Hall will be arranged to commemorate Oosterbaan, Ford and Kramer as well as the customized lockers for No. 47, No. 48 and No. 87 that will be redesigned in Schembechler Hall and Michigan Stadium.

“The success and acceptance of the Desmond Howard ‘Legend’ recognition led to conversations with the family members who had retired jerseys, several of whom were never recognized or celebrated in the appropriate manner,” Brandon said in a release by the athletic department. “The Ford, Kramer and Oosterbaan families want to see their family member honored in this way. We have yet to have any discussions with the Wistert or Harmon families. This program is about tradition and legacy and this is a unique way to recognize these great Wolverines.”

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke added: “This is an outstanding way to recognize our former greats. It speaks to the tradition and success of our program, and it honors those who led the way in the past.”

Tentative dates to commemorate the three former Wolverines have been set, and are as follows:

-Bennie Oosterbaan: Sept. 8 vs. Air Force
-Ron Kramer: Sept. 15 vs. Massachusetts
-Gerald Ford: Oct. 13 vs. Illinois

The football staff has yet to determine who will wear the new “Michigan Football Legends” jerseys.