Today is a perfect day to wish a very Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Tom Brady. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Thomas Edward Patrick “Tom” Brady, Jr. was born on this date at San Mateo, California in 1977. Tom grew up to be an excellent athlete at Serra High School in San Mateo. He played three sports – football, basketball and baseball in high school. Tom Brady was good enough to play Major League Baseball, but football was the sport he liked the most. He was recruited by Gary Moeller’s staff to play football for the Michigan Wolverines. Brady took a big leap of faith and decided to make the long trip to Ann Arbor to continue his education and his football.
Tom Brady arrived at Michigan in 1995. He did not play as a freshman and burned his red-shirt tin his first year on campus. The 1996 season was a lot like 1995 for young Brady. He played in two games, but did not start any games for the Wolverines. He completed 3 of 5 passes and had one intercepted. Tom did not earn a letter in season number two at Michigan. It is no secret that Tom Brady almost transferred to California, but people like Jay Flannelly and Greg Hardin, helped him hang in there, work hard, and wait his turn.
Year three in Ann Arbor turned out to be great for the Michigan Wolverines. They finished at 12 wins and 0 losses and won the AP National Championship Trophy. Brady was a back-up to Brian Griese who started every game in 1997. Tom completed 12 of 15 passes during his “mop-up” time in 1997. The good news for Tom was that he earned his first letter at Michigan.
Tom Brady won the starting job in 1998. He came out firing in the first game against Notre Dame. Brady completed 23 of 36 passes with 0 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Notre Dame upset #5 Michigan by a score of 20-36. Tom’s right arm got lots of exercise in 1998. He completed 214 of 350 passes. However, he also had 12 interceptions and 15 scoring passes. Tom Brady helped lead Michigan to a final record of 10 wins and 3 losses in 1998. They won 7of 8 Big Ten games and earned a tie for the championship.
In addition to being the starting quarterback in 1999, Tom also earned the title of “Co-Captain.” He (along with, Steve Hutchinson and Rob Renes) was selected to lead the Michigan Wolverines on the field in 1999. Brady, and his talented teammates, finished the season with a final record of 10 wins and 2 losses. The Wolverines slipped in the Big Ten (6-2) and wound up in a tie for second place.
For the second straight season, Tom Brady completed exactly 214 passes in 341 attempts. He threw 20 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions. Brady led Michigan to a number of comeback wins in 1999 and earned the nickname of “Comeback Kid” and “Captain Comeback.”
Tom Brady set a number of Michigan passing records during his playing career. He finished with a record of 20 wins and only 5 losses in 25 career starts. (That’s an 80 percent winning rate!) Tom Brady earned Honorable Mention honors from the Big Ten in 1998 and 1999 and was named as Michigan’s Most Valuable Player in 1999. He also earned three varsity football letters.
Brady is also connected to some interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Here they are:
- Tom Brady was the first Michigan quarterback to complete over 200 passes (214 to be exact) in one season (1998). He also repeated that feat in 1999.
- Brady is the first, and only, Michigan quarterback to attempt 56 passes in one game against Ohio State on November 21, 1998.
- Tom Brady was also the first Michigan quarterback to complete 31 passes in one-game and throw for 375-yards. (vs OSU on November 21, 1998.)
- Brady was the first Michigan quarterback to have three games with over 300-passing yards.
- Tom Brady became the first, and only, Michigan quarterback to complete 34 passes in an overtime win over Alabama on January 1, 2000. (His last game in a Michigan uniform)
- Brady is the only Michigan Man to be an MVP of his high school and college football teams and then become the MVP of the National Football League and the Super Bowl. (Both multiple times)
- Of course, Tom Brady is the first, and only, 6th round NFL Draft Pick/quarterback to lead his team to five Super Bowl victories.
Not bad for a guy who didn’t start a game for three years at Michigan. Tom Brady is a True Blue” Michigan Man – that’s for sure. He is a great part of the wonderful history of college football’s winningest football program. I hope Tom Brady has a great time on his special day today (yes, even during practice!). Go Blue! Go Tom and Go Pats!