BG's Leadership Shines Through Til The End

Senior defensive end and Michigan Captain Brandon Graham talks after the game – both at the mic and away from it.

Question: Brandon being the emotional leader that you've been all season long, what did you tell your teammates after this game?

Brandon Graham: "Just told them lay it out there on the line, have no regrets. Coming out, we know Ohio State don't have nothing to play for, but we have a lot to play for. This is like our national championship game to us. Them boys came out and played. It hurt because we didn't come out victorious."

Question: It seemed like maybe a little bit of redemption for the defense, as the offense this time really set you back a little bit.

Brandon Graham: "Hey, I'm proud of everybody. It did look like the defense did their thing today. Everybody fought, we going to fight and we know we had a lot to make up for, for these past games on D. We tried to get it straight."

Question: Can you sum up the season of why things went wrong and your emotions right now?

Brandon Graham: "I just think it was a humbling season for us. The seniors next year will be ready. I know all the seniors that leave here now are going to make sure of that. Just like I was telling everybody in the locker room, I want to see you all boys be great, so work out and work hard. Work past what I did this year because it wasn't good enough. Go ahead and go the extra mile. I believe they going to do it because of that look in their eye. I don't want them to have that no more. That is what I was telling them. I don't want to see you all down like this because I'm always going to hold my head up high. I cried a little bit. I'll probably cry later but I can't let anybody see me sweat."

Question: Has it really hit you at this point?

Brandon Graham: "It ain't hit me yet. I'm still here. When coach tells me to clean my locker out that's going to hurt. It's still there right now. I don't how it feels."

Question: How about taking off the uniform for the last time knowing it is not a bowl game?

Brandon Graham: "I might have this boy on all day. All day until later on."

More – away form the Mic

Brandon Graham: "We fought hard to the end. I'm proud of everybody this season. That's just a humbling experience and those boys should be ready by next year."

Question: How hard is it to keep a smile on your face? Obviously you're in a good mood right now?

Brandon Graham: "We left it on the field. That was a good Ohio State team. We don't beat ourselves, it'd be a little closer, but who knows what might happen. It happened, they won the game and it is over with. It is out there on the field."

Question: It looks like you had some words with Justin Boren at the end; what did you say to him?

Brandon Graham: "Yeah, yeah. I talked to his brother too (Zach). I said you all boys know your heart here (at Michigan). When he made that tackle on (Terrelle) Pryor…I don't know what happened, but I seen he bumped into Boren and I was like yeah Boren, you still Michigan man. You still trying to tackle Ohio State players. I tried to joke around a little bit. Tried to get into his head a little bit."

Question: Can you talk about these seniors and what kind of legacy you feel you guys are leaving?

Brandon Graham: "Just know that got to keep working. The season could start off good and bad, you jus got to keep going. It is all about where your heart is. We kept our heart into it. It is just part of football. Hopefully they get it right next year."

Question: Can you believe that all these underclassman that are coming back next year are "All In" for Michigan's program?

Brandon Graham: "Oh yeah. They all in for Rich Rod. I hope Rich Rod get another chance because he's coming. He's going to win some championships here. I believe next year is going to be a great year."

Question: Can you talk about factions trying to rip the program a little bit outside the program; do you sense that?

Brandon Graham: "Naw. It's all about whose inside. It is just people trying, but it is all about if you all together and I believe we together. Ain't nobody worried about nothing that they going to be saying. We had a good year. I'm happy, everybody happy, we just got to go into next year better."

Question: Is there enough talent to be better next year?

Brandon Graham: "Yeah. There is a whole lot of talent. There is a whole lot of talent that sat out this year that wasn't ready yet, but they going to get ready. We had a long talk in the locker room and that's why I'm so late getting out, because I wanted to make sure that everybody wanted to be great and do whatever it takes to be great. We talk about it every day. We going to see what you all do and everybody gave me almost the same answer."

Question: Brandon can you talk about your experience here at the University of Michigan?

Brandon Graham: "I love Michigan. I'm always going to be back. I'm going to give back as much as I can. Hopefully my face will be on the wall."

Question: Big Will Campbell talking about how important your work to him this year; can you talk about his development?

Brandon Graham: "I see Will being the best defensive tackle in the nation before his junior year. That boy work hard. That boy looked up to me a lot, so I made sure that I been a positive role model to me because if you look up to me that much, I've got to do nothing but make myself better."

Question: Give me some of the advice that you gave to some of the guys before you left.

Brandon Graham: "I just told them boys that if you want to be great, you all boys know you got to put in extra work. We put in a lot of work this year but you got to take it up one more level, another step and you all boys will be there. We just this close. We just beat ourselves and if we don't beat ourselves and give everybody our best game, we'll be unstoppable."


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