Football practice may still be over a month away, but the Michigan players are already hard at work preparing for the fall. The veterans in every program lead the way during the voluntary practices and summer conditioning drills, and the role they play during the offseason is pivotal to the success of their teams year in and year out. They are instrumental in not only bridging the gap between spring practice and fall ball for their current teammates, they also have an equally vital responsiblity in helping the newcomers get acclimated.
A number of the freshmen in Michigan's incoming class have already made it to campus for workouts over the past month. One of the most frequent attendees has been former Detroit Crockett standout Brandon Graham.
"I'm going up there every week," Graham said from his home over the weekend. "Not of all (the freshmen) have been in yet. Cobrani hasn't been up there yet. Right now just me Quintin and Steve Brown have been up in there."
"The big guys are taking care of us," he continued. "They are taking us under their wing. For me it has been Rondell (Biggs). That's who I stay with when I go up there."
One of Graham's main goals as he prepares for fall camp is to get back down to his playing weight. He knows he must shed a few pounds in order to have the best opportunity to play his position of choice.
"My weight right now is 265, but I'm playing linebacker," said Graham. "We're trying to get it down now. I was working out all the way through (the summer), so I'm not sure how I gained it. I've been running track everything. I couldn't run in the track meets though. I was ineligible because I played in the Army All-American Game. I would've run the sprinters races…the 100, 200, the 4x100 and throw the shot.
"I'll get it down this summer," he said. "It's been weight room,
run….weight room run. That's how we do it every day. We'll get up at 6:30
to run, and then we lift."