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August 2, 2013

Countdown To Kickoff: Day 30

Since the final play of the Wolverines' Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina, Michigan coaches, players and fans alike have eagerly awaited the start of the 2013 season - and another chance to win the program's first Big Ten Championship since 2004.

Now, with the calendar turning over to August, the season is just around the corner.

To count down to the season, The Wolverine is naming the best player to ever wear each jersey number, No. 99 to No. 1.

We'll highlight 3-5 jerseys a day, all the way to the morning of Aug. 31, the day the Wolverines finally kick off the season at The Big House against Central Michigan.

No. 96

Calvin O'Neal, linebacker (1973-76)

O'Neal, a two-year starter for the Wolverines, was a takedown machine as a senior, recording double-digit tackles in an impressive eight games in 1976, finishing the season with 153 tackles, which ranks sixth in single-season program history.

In a 16-14 loss to Purdue, O'Neal racked up an incredible 24 total tackles, which is still the single-season program record.

O'Neal also eclipsed the 150-tackle mark as a junior in 1975, with 151 (which still ranks eighth in program history).

He is one of only eight Wolverines who finished their career with more than 375 total tackles (378). He also picked off three passes, including one that he returned for a touchdown.

O'Neal was a first-team All-Big Ten selection as a junior and a first-team All-American pick as a senior. He was taken by the Baltimore Colts in the sixth round of the 1977 NFL Draft and played one season.

No. 95

Curtis Greer, defensive tackle (1976-79)

Before Greer stepped on campus, the Wolverine record for career tackles for loss was 35. He smashed that during a highly productive tenure during which he started three seasons.

He finished with an impressive 48 tackles for loss - including the 23 he recorded in 1979 - setting both career and single-season tackles for loss records at Michigan. Those numbers stood until Mark Messner recorded 28 tackles for loss in 1988 and finished his career with 70.

Greer's productivity helped the Wolverines win three conference championships during his career. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and a first-team All-American honoree as a senior.

He was taken with the sixth overall pick of the 1980 NFL Draft, by the St. Louis Cardinals, whom he played for during his eight-year NFL career. He compiled an impressive 30 sacks in a two-season stretch (1983-84).

font size=3>No. 94

Jason Horn, defensive tackle (1992-95)

As a three-year starter, Horn lived behind the line of scrimmage, posting 39 career tackles for loss (10th in program history) and 24 career sacks (tied for fourth in program history).

Horn's senior season ranks among the most productive of all time. He grabbed 11 sacks (which is tied for second in single-season program history) and 18 tackles for loss (10th in single-season program history.

After the season, he was honored as a first-team All-American selection. Horn was also a two-time first-team All-Big Ten pick.


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