Michigan folks can be, uhh, a bit full of themselves sometimes. But credit where it is due, because when you do something this cool it’s certainly worth bragging about.
Michigan swept the big four professional sports with players selected in each 2017 draft, but it bested even that achievement by adding two other sports.
UM has a men’s soccer team as well as a lacrosse team, and had players drafted in both the MLL and MLS drafts. In total, 26 Michigan athletes have been selected in drafts this spring. The only major professional sports drafts the Wolverines got shut out are the WNBA and the NWSL drafts.
|Lars Eckenrode||MLS||Toronto FC||17|
In the NFL draft, Michigan led all college teams in draft picks, sending 11 to the league. The credit for those picks, however, lands in an interesting place.
For one thing, it’s a nice feather in Brady Hoke’s cap. Virtually all of these recruits, including the former five-star Peppers, were the former Michigan coach’s. Hoke was fired two years ago after a disappointing run, and nobody thinks it wasn’t a good idea to do that and replace him with Harbaugh. If you want to dock Hoke for last year’s two-draftee output, feel free, but you should also credit him for this year.
In baseball and hockey, a selection doesn’t mean a forfeiture of college eligibility, and players can return to school.
Getting a player in the big three sports isn’t terribly difficult for major programs. A bunch of schools made the achievement, even Villanova did that and its college football program isn’t even FBS.
But Michigan truly stands above here with a wide array of exceptional athletes across a ton of sports. Maybe the Leaders and Best thing isn’t so corny after all? (It definitely still is.)