University of Michigan Football All-American
End, 1955, 1956
From East Detroit, Kramer became a two-time All-American and a nine letterman in three sports - football, basketball, and track. Led Wolverine grid scoring for two seasons and did the same in basketball. He was a star receiver, a fine punter, and placekicker, and a ball-carrier as well. As a basketball player he scored 1,119 points and was a Most Valuable Player as a junior. Following graduation he embarked on a spectacular pro career with the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions.
In the long tradition of outstanding Michigan athletes, Ron Kramer deserves to be ranked among the best. A nine-time letterman (three each in football, basketball, and track), Kramer's credits include two consensus football All-American selections (1955-56), the retirement of his jersey number (87) by the Wolverines following his senior season, and the selection as basketball Most Valuable Player for three years standing.
A native of Girard, KS, Kramer's family moved to East Detroit when he was five. Prior to attending the University of Michigan, he won Michigan all-state honors in football, basketball, and track.
As a Wolverine, Kramer was an excellent two way player on the gridiron, occupying at some point the positions of offensive and defensive end, running back, quarterback, kicker, and receiver, often all in the same game. Despite these talents, coach Bennie Oosterbaan described his blocking and tackling ability as the most valuable asset to the Michigan squad.
As captain of the basketball team during his senior year, Kramer set Michigan's all-time scoring mark at 1,124 points, a standard that stood until 1961. As a member of the Wolverine track squad, Kramer was a talented high jumper, despite his 230-pound frame. On at least one occasion he walked over to the Michigan track meet after participating in spring football drills, and won the high jump with a 6-foot-4 leap.
Kramer went on to play for the Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi in the early 1960's. As the prototype of NFL tight ends, he was named to the all-Pro team following the 1961 and 1962 seasons, as the Packers went on to win consecutive World Championships. Kramer finished his career with the Detroit Lions, following a trade involving their #1 selection in the 1965 NFL draft.
After retiring from football in 1968, Kramer was elected into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1971. Later, in 1981, he was named as a recipient of the NCAA's Silver Anniversary Award in recognition of significant professional and civic contributions spanning 25 years after completion of his college eligibility.
Perhaps Bennie Oosterbaan said it best in describing Kramer's athletic abilities: "as only a challenge."
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