Detroit Crockett high school has been the home of some of the top talent in the state of Michigan over the last few years. The Rockets have sent defensive lineman Ed Johnson (Penn State), linebackers Nick Sutton (Wisconsin) and Johnny Thompson (Michigan), and a number of others on to big time college football programs. The latest star caliber player to put on the purple uniform is 6-2 235-lb Inside Linebacker Brandon Graham. As good as the soft-spoken young man's predecessors were, this hard-hitting athlete may be the best yet! Graham has earned instate recruiting guru Jim S' recognition as the #1 junior prospect in the State of Michigan; having watched Graham play twice, it's not hard for GoBlueWolverine to see why.
Clocked at an extremely impressive 4.47 in the forty, Graham is the fastest player on his team and is a sideline to sideline backer that is hardly ever beat to the outside. That he was so successful stepping in for Johnny Thompson last season was somewhat surprising … not because he isn't a great athlete, but because he had not played the position before. GBW talked with Graham as he went through a weight room workout after school yesterday (Wednesday), and he told us, "I had 132 tackles, 60 solos, 5 interceptions with 3 returns, and one punt return for a touchdown," Graham said. "A lot of people knew about me at defensive end because my 10th grade year, the year that Johnny was here, I had 50 tackles and 20 sacks as a D-end. Last year was my first year at linebacker."
GoBlueWolverine got its first look at Graham when he turned in a 6-tackle/2-sack performance against Farmington Hills Harrison in August of 2003. That said, it wasn't until we saw him playing linebacker in August of 2004 against Harper Woods Notre Dame at the Pontiac Silverdome that we knew he was an elite player. Size, strength, the ability to deliver a blow, and SPEED.
The Wolverines obviously saw enough in Graham's first season in a stand up position to warrant a personal conversation with Coach Carr. "He offered me a scholarship last Thursday," Graham told GBW. "He told me about how much film of me he had seen and that he liked what he saw. He said he wanted to offer me a scholarship."
The Wolverines are the only program at this point to have extended an offer, but
Brandon has received significant interest from Notre Dame, Purdue, and Indiana. He
has often bent the ear of his good friend Johnny Thompson for advice on all that is going
on. One thing he didn't need much help with was deciding which school he'd spend his college years at.
"I talk to Johnny every night," Graham said. "He just tells me I'll do well here. He also tells me that it is my decision. I tell him that he already knows where I am going. I love Michigan. I want to go there."
Aside from his boyhood affinity for the Maize and Blue, there are a few very significant factors that have the Wolverines figuring so prominently into his equation. "There are so many reasons why, but there are a couple of main ones," Graham told us. "For one … the education. The education is really good and they have a lot to choose from up there. Second is the football program. I think they have an A-1 program. They go to a bowl game every year. I'm think I'm going to be good at Michigan with the Blue on."
Graham told us he'd been contemplating going ahead and commiting to the Wolverines this very week, but when we did a follow-up interview with him last night he said there are a couple things still holding him back from actually pulling the trigger quite yet -- at least for another week or so.
"It's going to be Michigan, but I would like to enjoy a few visits," Graham said. "I've never even been to a Michigan game. I can't wait to see the atmosphere that I see on TV. I'm going to Michigan's Junior Day -- I'm going to show up a little early to talk to the coaches about a few things. It's possible that I could commit then. We'll see."
Look for more on Brandon in the coming days and weeks.