Michigan's Tom Harmon has been named Big Ten Icon No. 5. by the Big Ten Network. Big Ten Icons continues at 9 PM ET on Sunday with a profile of the 1940 Heisman Trophy winner and charter member of Michigan's Hall of Honor. A native of Gary, Ind., Harmon enrolled at Michigan in 1937 after earning 14 letters in football, basketball and track at Horace Mann High School. He is still revered as one of the most complete athletes to play Michigan football, excelling as a rusher, passer and kicker while also contributing on defense. As a junior, Harmon seized national attention after leading the nation with 102 points to earn first-team All-America honors.
With high expectations entering his senior season, Harmon did not disappoint, running for 852 yards and 14 touchdowns to repeat as the national scoring leader with 117 points. His jersey number 98 was retired after he won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards as the nation's most outstanding college player. During his three seasons in Ann Arbor, Harmon rushed for 2,134 yards and scored 33 touchdowns, including 16 on 1,304 yards passing. He also kicked 33 extra points and two field goals, accounting for a total of 237 career points.
After serving four years as a pilot during World War II, in which he won a Silver Star and the Purple Heart, Harmon emerged as one of the nation's top sports broadcasters and directors, reporting live on major sporting events from the Olympics to the Rose Bowl. In 1954, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and became a charter member of Michigan's Hall of Honor in 1978.
In an essay for www.BigTenIcons.com, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath wrote, "Tom Harmon transcends the overused term 'football hero.' He was a hero in most every sense of the word." To read the essay on Harmon and learn more about his accomplishments, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at www.BigTenIcons.com.
The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed in March 2011 in conjunction with the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament. Big Ten Icons is the network's most ambitious multi-platform initiative to date. The program is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history, based solely on their collegiate playing careers. All student-athletes from current Big Ten schools are eligible for the network's list. Fans can visit www.BigTenIcons.com to see a complete roster of Big Ten Icons, which also features essays, video and other key facts about each Icon's career.