December 5, 2017 Happy Birthday Burnie Legette!

1992 Michigan Wolverine Football Team | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Burnie Legette (#40) is shown above with the 1992 Big Ten Champion Michigan Wolverine Football team. He is seated in the front row – 9th man from the left of the picture. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Today is a perfect day to celebrate the Happy Birthday of a Michigan Man Burnie Legette. According to the Wikipedia link below, Burnie A. Legette was born on this day at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Burnie Legette grew up in Colorado Springs and became an outstanding athlete at Mitchell High School. In fact, he starred in football, basketball and track. According to the 1991 Michigan Football Media  Guide, Legette was a two-time all-state football player. He also earned all-league honors in his final three seasons of high school in basketball and track. Yes, Burnie Legette was an exceptional athlete and Bo Schembechler went after the talented Legette. Of course, Schembechler got his man!

Bo thought that Burnie Legette was big enough, fast enough and tough enough to play fullback at Michigan. As it turned out, Bo was right! Burnie’s Michigan career started slowly. He was playing behind Jarrod Bunch and LeRoy Hoard. So, Burnie had to wait his turn in 1989 and 1990. However, Legette played enough to earn to two letters during the “waiting” years. He only started two games, but played a lot of football for the Wolverines. Of course, Michigan won Big Ten Championships in both of Legette’s first two seasons.

Burnie Legette Michigan Football 1992 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Burnie Legette was an excellent player on four straight Big Ten Championship teams from 1989 to 1992. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Athletic Department at The University of Michigan.

Burnie’s patience started to pay dividends in 1991. He started ten games at fullback and averaged 5.0 yards per carry. Legette scored one touchdown and recorded a 50-yard run against Iowa. Once again, the Wolverines won their fourth straight Big Ten Title with a record of 8-0-0. They finished the season with a final record of 10 wins and 2 losses and ended the season as the 6th ranked team in both the AP and UPI polls.

Fortunately, Burnie Legette’s final season (1992) turned out to be another excellent year for him and his teammates. Burnie started ten more games and earned his fourth varsity letter. He did an outstanding job running (3.6 yards per carry), and catching the ball (8.3 yards per catch). Of course, he also made a ton of “bone-crunching” blocks for Tyrone Wheatley that season. The Wolverines finished the year with a record of 9-0-3. Their conference record of 6 wins, 0 losses and 2 ties earned them a fifth straight conference championship (1988-1992).

So, Burnie Legette is one of a very few Michigan Men who can say he was part of four Big Ten Championship teams in four years! Wow – that sounds amazing, especially since the Wolverines haven’t won any since 2004. Ouch!

In addition to his outstanding career at Michigan, Burnie Legette was also part of some important Michigan football “firsts.” Check them out:

  • Burnie Legette played on the first Gary Moeller Team in 1990.
  • Legette was a member of Gary Moeller’s first Big Ten Championship Team (1990).
  • Burnie Legette played on Gary Moeller’s first and only undefeated team (9-0-3) in 1992.
  • Legette played on Gary Moeller’s first and only top 5 ranked team (5th in AP Poll and 5th in CNN/USA Coaches Poll) in 1992.
  • Burnie Legette played on Gary Moeller’s first and only Rose Bowl winner in January 1993.

Yes, Burnie Legette was an excellent player on some great Michigan teams. He left Ann Arbor with four varsity letters and four Big Ten championship rings! In retrospect, not too many players enjoyed the success that Burnie Legette did at Michigan. Burnie went on to a short career in the NFL. Check out the Wikipedia article linked below.

So, today is a good day to wish Burnie Legette a very “Happy Birthday.” Please take a moment to appreciate his contributions to the great history of Michigan Wolverine Football! Go Blue!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnie_Legette

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1992fbt.htm

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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