Michigan, Northwestern to play for George Jewett Trophy, honoring Big Ten’s first Black football player

Michigan football and Northwestern announced the two teams will play for the George Jewett Trophy, named after the Big Ten’s first Black college football player.

According to a release from the two programs, the trophy is the first in Football Bowl Subdivision history to be named after a Black player.

“This is a historic moment in major college football history,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with our peer institution, Northwestern, to recognize and honor an African American pioneer in George Jewett. George achieved at a high level as an athlete and doctor. His hard work and effort led to success not only for himself, but for those who would follow a similar path after him.

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“His excellence at two Big Ten institutions as a student, athlete and citizen is something we want our current student-athletes to aspire to during their collegiate experience. The George Jewett Trophy will become a proud celebration of the importance to diversity on our teams, campuses, and in our society.”

Jewett was valedictorian and a star athlete at Ann Arbor High School (now Ann Arbor Pioneer), participating in track, football and baseball. He played for Michigan during the 1890 and 1892 seasons as fullback and halfback and also was the team’s main kicker, according to the program. In 1893, he transferred to Northwestern and played two seasons for the Wildcats.

Michigan and Northwestern will first play for the trophy on Oct. 23, 2021 in Ann Arbor. The trophy will be presented at all future contests, as well.

Jim Harbaugh was asked about the rivalry Thursday and called it a “tremendous idea.” He also recalled a personal connection with the Jewett family, as Jewett’s grandson, Coleman, was Harbaugh’s assistant principal at Tappan Junior High School in the 1970s.

“Anybody who went through Tappan Junior High School knows Coleman Jewett and the Jewett family,” Harbaugh said. “Grandfather George Jewett, to have this game, this trophy, I think it’s a tremendous addition for his legacy, for the family’s legacy, and also for the Big Ten, college football, for Michigan, for Northwestern, for everybody. Extremely excited about it. Can’t wait to see what the trophy looks like.”

Contact Orion Sang at osang@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang. Read more on the Michigan Wolverines and sign up for our Wolverines newsletter. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Michigan Wolverines content.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football, Northwest to play for George Jewett Trophy

Published: 2021-02-25 18:29:04

Tags: #Michigan #Northwestern #play #George #Jewett #Trophy #honoring #Big #Tens #Black #football #player

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