Countess will be wearing a different number then his usual No. 18 he wore during his first three years on campus. The All-Big Ten performer now will wear No. 2 this season. A number, he says, he campaigned U-M coach Brady Hoke for since enrolling as a freshman in 2011.
“I told him as an incoming freshman” Countess said. “And anywhere else it’s a little different wearing No. 2. But here, he said that’s something you have to earn it. And we had the conversations since I’ve been here. And ultimately he made that decision.”
The decision came sometime this summer, and was made official when the athletic website showcased the updated rosters and number changes in July.
The No. 2 was most notably made famous by former Michigan Heisman trophy winner Charles Woodson, who won the award in 1997.
“That’s always been a goal of mine since I committed,” Countess said. “I look up to guys like Charles Woodson and Deon Sanders. And they both wore No. 2 in college. Me and coach [Brady] Hoke have had conversations in the past, and he ultimately made the decision this off-season.”
Countess said his No. 2 jersey will not be part of Michigan’s “Legend” jersey program, which honors former U-M greats with a patch displaying their tenure at the university.
Former Wolverine running back Vincent Smith was the last player to wear No. 2, he last played in the 2012-13 season.