Today is a great day to wish a Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Drew Henson. The talented Drew Daniel Henson was born on this day in San Diego, California. Drew grew up to be an outstanding high school athlete. He was a gifted football player at Brighton High School in Brighton, Michigan. He also excelled on the basketball court and on the baseball field. He was on his way to play Florida State when he changed his mind and opted to play for Lloyd Carr at Michigan.
Lloyd Carr recruited some outstanding quarterbacks while he was at Michigan and Drew Henson was definitely one of them. The only problem for Henson was that he had some tough competition for playing time. A guy named Tom Brady got all the starts (25) in 1998 and 1999. Drew played enough to letter during both years, but he was not “The Man.” Michigan went 20-5 during the “Brady Years” so there was no urgent need to put Tom Brady on the bench.
Henson kept working hard and his efforts did not go unnoticed. He won the John Maulbetsch Award for his outstanding effort during spring practice in 1999. Drew knew that his time would come.
Drew Henson’s patience paid off in the 2000 season. He was named as the starter, but suffered an injury that kept him out of the first three games of the season. Freshman John Navarre filled in and guided Michigan to a 2-1 record before Henson returned to the field.
A healthy Henson guided the Wolverines to a record of 7 wins and 2 losses in the last nine games of the season. Michigan finished with 6 wins and 2 losses in the conference and tied for the Big Ten title. They also won the Citrus Bowl in Orlando against Auburn by a score of 31-28. Michigan’s three losses were by a total of seven points. Oh, what might have been!
Drew Henson athletic ability caused the New York Yankees to make him an offer that he could not refuse. Henson signed with the Yankees and did not return to play his last year of eligibility which would have been 2001.
Although Drew Henson’s career ended abruptly, he had a good run in Ann Arbor. In addition to making eight starts and earning three varsity letters, he was a proud member of two Big Ten Championship teams. He earned some special recognition when he was named the John Maulbetsch Award winner in 1999. It would have been fun to watch him play one more year, but it was not meant to be!
Drew Henson was also part of some interesting Michigan football “firsts.” Check them out:
· Threw four touchdowns in one game (Northwestern) which tied him for first place with a few other Michigan QBs. (Now that number is only good for second place after Jake Ruddock threw five TD passes against Indiana in 2015.)
· First quarterback in the Carr Era to lead the offense to over 400 points (404) in one season (2000).
· First starting Michigan quarterback to leave with eligibility remaining 2001.
Today is a good day to remember the contributions of Drew D. Henson to Michigan Football. He, and his teammates, contributed twenty-nine wins to the all-time Wolverine victory total. They also won three bowl games. Thanks for the Maize and Blue memories Drew Henson, I hope you enjoy your special day today. Go Blue!