WATCH: Tom Brady’s First-Ever College Football Pass That Started it All

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

College football Tom Brady, this is your future talking. That first-ever pass you threw as a redshirt freshman for Michigan — it’ll be OK. Promise. It really wasn’t a sign of things to come.

Seriously, all these years later, did you ever wonder about the first pass a quarterback like Tom Brady ever threw in college? Brady is everything in the NFL because he wins lots of Super Bowls.

But he wasn’t a breakout star with the Michigan Wolverines. In fact, the first pass he threw ended up as an interception. It came against UCLA in front of 107,000 fans at Michigan Stadium. The Bruins’ defense blitzed Brady.

He redshirted his freshman year with six other quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. That was in 1995. A linebacker got through the Michigan line and thumped Brady as he threw the ball. The result? A pick-six. It’s like the perfect story to tell a young quarterback who needs a boost. “Did you know Tom Brady threw a pick-six on his first throw in college? See. Even the great ones make a mistake.”

Here’s an Odd Tom Brady Stat: He Once Was 7th Team on Depth Chart

When Brady arrived in Ann Arbor, six other quarterbacks were ahead of him on the depth chart. He redshirted. For his first two official years, Brady was a backup to starter Brian Griese. Yes, that’s Bob Griese’s son who now is a TV football analyst.

Then Brady took over as Michigan’s starting quarterback. Call his collegiate career solid, headed toward excellent. Given what we know now, it wasn’t spectacular. Brady earned honorable-mention All Big Ten his junior and senior seasons. He served as captain of the team his senior year. The Wolverines won 10 games, including the Citrus Bowl in 1998.

Brady’s Wolverines also won 10 games his senior season. They knocked off Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Brady set all sorts of school records. His four-touchdown game against the Crimson Tide was only the 10th time a Michigan quarterback put up those kind of numbers. He also averaged 215 passing yards a game, which set a Wolverines record.

And here’s a nice Tom Brady fun fact to impress your friends. New England selected him with the 199th pick of the 2000 NFL draft.

It all seems so quaint now, given what Brady has accomplished the last two decades. At age 43, he won the Super Bowl MVP trophy this past February after Tampa Bay’s win over Kansas City. The victory over the Chiefs was his seventh Super Bowl win. Joe Montana is in second place on the Super Bowl quarterback wins chart. And the San Francisco 49er legend is three back from Brady.

Recently, Tom Brady lost a record. But it was an off-the-field stat. His rookie card had been the most expensive ever sold. Patrick Mahomes beat him. A card shop in Ohio bought Mahomes rookie card for $4.3 million. Brady’s card cost only $3.1 million. What a deal. See, no one really cares about your first pass.