ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Former Michigan All-American receiver Braylon Edwards paid tribute to another Wolverine All-American Friday night by announcing a $500,000 scholarship endowment fund at the university's Junge Family Champions Center.
It is the largest gift ever given to the university by an active professional athlete.
Edwards used the donation ceremony as a platform to honor Anthony Carter, a three-time All-American from 1980-82, who popularized the No. 1, which Edwards also wore at Michigan.
"No. 1 at Michigan may be the most coveted number at any university," said Edwards, a receiver for the NFL's Cleveland Browns.
Carter was a teammate at Michigan of Edwards' father, Stan, who often told his son stories of Carter's exploits. Edwards said he modeled his game after Carter's. He said he never celebrated touchdowns because Carter did not.
Carter was visibly touched by the ceremony.
"When I came out of high school I weighed 155 pounds and nobody thought I'd last one game in the Big Ten," he said. "To see the number grow so tremendously makes me proud."
Carter was given the No. 1 when he arrived at Michigan because of his slight stature. After his brilliant career other star players were allowed to wear the number, including Derrick Alexander and David Terrell. Edwards asked to wear the number after his sophomore season.
The Edwards Foundation Scholarship recipient must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, demonstrate exemplary off-field conduct and prove himself as a team player.
Edwards said he felt he owed Michigan for helping him develop into a first-round NFL draft choice.
"Michigan gave me so many things," Edwards said. "It gave me an education beyond what most universities could, so even without football I would have been successful.
"On the football field they taught me how to play the position. I learned up-to-date techniques and they put me on ABC almost every week. They have me the microphone and I ran with it."
Edwards said the scholarship will be presented to a player each season, but not necessarily the No. 1 jersey. That, coach Lloyd Carr said, has to be earned.
"Whoever wears that jersey has some big shoes to fill," Carr said. "And we're out there now trying to find him."