George Jewett

Michigan and Northwestern will begin playing this season for the George Jewett Trophy, a new football rivalry trophy that honors George Jewett, the first Black player in Big Ten history. Jewett competed for both teams in the 1890s.

Jewett played fullback and halfback, and was the team’s main kicker, for the Wolverines in 1890 and 1892 while studying medicine before transferring to Northwestern in 1893 to play his final two seasons while earning a medical degree.

“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. 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.”

The Jewett Trophy becomes the first rivalry trophy in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) named for a Black player. The Wolverines will host the Wildcats in Ann Arbor on Oct. 23.