Shea Patterson couldn’t just walk into Ann Arbor and pick out the jersey of his choice. If the new Michigan quarterback wanted to don his favorite jersey number, he would have to reach out to one of the school’s legendary players.

At Ole Miss, Patterson wore No. 20 on his uniform. But when he arrived at Michigan, he wanted to make a switch to No. 2, a jersey that is sacred in Ann Arbor. But before wearing that special number, Patterson picked up the phone and spoke with a former Wolverine star.

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Charles Woodson.

In a story from Aaron McMann of, Patterson explains why he called Woodson and asked for his permission to wear the No. 2 jersey for the Maize and Blue.

“Actually, I did,” Patterson told the media on Thursday, his first interview with reporters since Michigan’s spring trip to France. “My dad coached him in high school, in basketball. He’s actually a really good basketball player.

My dad gave me his number and I thought just — out of respect for the best player to have ever lived to come through Michigan — to see if it was OK if I wore his number.”

Woodson was receptive to the idea of Patterson wearing his number, telling the new quarterback to wear the jersey “with pride.”

“He said, ‘Just wear that number with pride,'” Patterson said. “And if you’re going to wear it, know what you’re wearing it for. You’ve got to be a leader and you’ve got to show the guys how hard you work.'”

Woodson, of course, was the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner and was a two-time First-team All-American while at Michigan.

The gesture from Patterson might be small, but it’s one that will definitely win over the alumni and the fan base in Ann Arbor.

Patterson will wear the No. 2 jersey as the starting quarterback for Michigan in Week 1 when the Wolverines travel to South Bend to battle Notre Dame.