The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE BY CHRIS BALAS Port Huron (Mich.) Northern standout defensive end Braiden Mc- Gregor still remembers the first day he finally understood just how good he was. The 6-5, now self-reported 265-pounder was on a recruiting trip to Central Michigan during his soph- omore season on w h a t s e e m e d like a routine visit when he got called into the coach's office. " H e g a v e a little background on himself, about the program, and then he ended up offering me. I was just so sur- prised because I had no idea what t h a t m e a n t , " McGregor said with a chuckle. "I wasn't sure if you were sup- posed to commit right there or what." H i s m o t h e r knew, though. She started cry- i n g , p ro b a b l y due in part to the realization that her son was going to accept a scholarship somewhere and keep them tuition- free for at least three or four years. For McGregor, the CMU offer was only the beginning. It was then that he started doing a bit more research, and it started with a question from his parents shortly after visiting Mount Pleasant: If you get one offer any- where in the country, which school would you commit to on the spot? "I didn't even remember this until my dad reminded me, but I guess without hesitation I said, 'Michi- gan,'" he recalled. "Michigan has al- ways been my dream school. "After I visited here, I was kind of overwhelmed just looking at Michi- gan. … It's close to home, has the best academics, football, the weight room — it's crazy. But I was only a sophomore. I thought, 'I can't com- mit yet.'" He had 15 offers by the end of the next week, and by the next season ev- eryone in the country was calling. He picked up opportunities from Clemson and Alabama, turned down pushes from Notre Dame and Ohio State, and is now an early enrollee in Ann Arbor. He's gotten off to a good start, albeit a bit dif- ferent than the other seven pros- pects who en- rolled in January. The consensus four-star pros- pect is making strides in rehab- bing a surgically repaired knee. McGregor tore his MCL and his m e n i s c u s a n d had other knee d a m a g e s u f - fered in the last few minutes of a win over rival Port Huron last October, in the seventh game of the season. The rehab is ahead of sched- ule, and what w a s e x p e c t e d to be a six-to-eight-month recovery could be even less. His high school defensive coordinator, Brett Van- Drew, believes his star pupil has it in him to see the field early if he gets back to full strength. "He's handled it pretty impres- sively," VanDrew reported. "You get to that point where you're in the midst of your senior season and have something that dramatic hap- pen, it's pretty trying on anybody. He handled it pretty admirably, and it helped knowing it wasn't going to be the end of the road for him … that he had a lot of things to look forward to. "It was tough on him the first few weeks, but in talking with the staff over at Michigan, all of those people are taking great care of him, giving him assurances … that helps." It helped, too, that he got some good news from the Michigan doc- tors after fearing the worst last fall. Braiden McGregor Recovering From Surgery, Still Hopes To Play Early McGregor was ranked as high as the No. 32 overall recruit in the land (by ESPN), and all three major recruiting services awarded him four-star status. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM 2020 Projection McGregor is spending the begin- ning of his time as an early enrollee rehabbing from a knee injury that he suffered seven games into his senior year. He has the luxury of learning behind Aidan Hutchinson and Kwity Paye at the defensive end spots as a freshman, but will likely be competing for a starting job as a sophomore in 2021. BRAIDEN MCGREGOR DEFENSIVE LINEMAN 6-5 • 248 PORT HURON NORTHERN H.S. PORT HURON, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ — 17* 11 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 121 4* 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 32 2^ 1 * Ranked as a strongside defensive end; ^ ranked as an athlete STATISTICS Year Tackles TFL Sacks FF Int. 2019 32 10 2 0 0 2018 99 13 8 2 2 HONORS • Was a Detroit News Division 1-2 first- team All-State selection in 2018 and 2019. Was named to the Division 2 first team by The Detroit Free Press in 2018. • Was selected to play in the 2020 Under Armour All-American Game and the Polynesian Bowl, but could not participate due to injury. RECRUITMENT • Committed to Michigan on May 24, 2019. • Also had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State, among others. • Recruited by tight ends coach Sher- rone Moore and defensive line coach Shaun Nua. 42 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2020

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