87 Days: A Look Back At All-American Ron Kramer

With 87 days left before the 2016 Michigan football season, we recognize All-American Ron Kramer. The Kansas native came to Ann Arbor with athletic ability beyond football. Below are some of his highlights at Michigan from 1953 to 1957 when he played football and basketball:

Football

  • Was a standout two-way player at offensive and defensive end as a running back, quarterback, kicker and receiver, often in the same game.
  • Leading receiver for team in 1954 with 23 catches, 303 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Set the Michigan record in 1955 with three touchdown passes against Missouri.
  • Caught 18 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns in 1956.
  • Was selected as an All-American in 1955.
  • Is only one of five jersey numbers to be retired at Michigan.
  • In three years, Kremer caught 53 passes for 880 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • Handled 31 punts for a 40.6 yard average, converted 43 of 51 extra point attempts and kicked two field goals.
  • Was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Listed seventh in the 1999 report published by Sports Illustrated in the “The 50 Greatest Sport Figures from Michigan” in all sports.

Basketball

  • Played center and selected as teams most valuable player as a junior. That year, he averaged 20.4 points in a 22 game period.
  • Selected as second-team All-Big Ten in 1955 and 1956.
  • Kramer set the school’s all-time scoring record as team captain his senior year with 1,124 points, a standard that stood until 1961.

NFL

Kramer was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1957 draft as the fourth overall selection. He was offered to play with the Harlem Globetrotters in the same year, but denied their acceptance to play in the NFL. He was a key player for Coach Vince Lombardi’s first NFL championship teams in 1961 and 1962. Kramer played seven seasons with Green Bay three seasons with the Detroit Lions. He appeared in 128 games totaling 229 receptions for 3,272 yards.

Overall Achievements

  • All-American 1955 and 1956
  • College Football and Michigan Hall of Fame
  • NFL Champion 1961 and 1962
  • Pro Bowl 1962
  • NFL 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
  • Packers Hall of Fame

Ron passed away on September 11, 2010 in Fenton, Michigan. He was one of the most impressive athletes in the state of Michigan, the University of Michigan and was recognized for his outstanding achievements well beyond his playing years. He was also known as the “Apple Man” by bringing loads of apples to practice each week when he lived near campus.

Go Blue!

David Noe

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