Northwestern and Michigan established a rivalry game trophy, named for George Jewett, the first African-American player in FBS history, the two schools announced Thursday.
An Ann Arbor native, Jewett was the first black player for both schools, beginning his career at UM before coming to @NorthwesternU to star for two years and earn his medical degree. pic.twitter.com/ytnHMswJW4— Northwestern Athletics (@NU_Sports) February 25, 2021
Jewett attended both schools and was the first Black football player in Big Ten history. The Ann Arbor native attended UM in 1890 and 1892, where he played fullback, halfback and kicker. In addition, Jewett played baseball and ran track.
He finished his medical degree at NU and played two seasons of football for the Wildcats.
“Dr. George Jewett’s academic, athletic, community and cultural accolades transcend time,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “We are proud that the University of Michigan and Northwestern University will honor Dr. Jewett’s extraordinary humanity, courage, intelligence, success and legacy with the first rivalry game trophy featuring an African American football player in FBS and Big Ten history. Dr. Jewett’s dedication and perseverance to achieve excellence in every area of his life are an inspiration to every man and woman and provide evidence that with hard work and passion there are no limitations to achieving your dreams. We must continue to work together to honor Dr. Jewett by eliminating racism and hate and creating equality in our society.”
Jewett became a doctor in Chicago before returning to Ann Arbor to start a dry cleaning and pressing business. He died in 1908 at age 38.
The George Jewett Trophy is the 16th rivalry game trophy in the conference and NU’s second (HAT). The two teams will play for the trophy each time they face off, which is next on October 23 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines won the last meeting 20-17 on September 29, 2018.