The Wolverine

November 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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60 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2022 BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan formally dedicated and re- named the tunnel at Michigan Sta- dium after legendary coach Lloyd Carr, who led the Wolverines to a national title in 1997, before U-M's win over Penn State Oct. 15. But Carr's legacy extends beyond just his title team. He made a big impact on a number of ex-Wolverines, including for- mer defensive back Brandon Williams. "Seeing everything that Coach Carr gets means a lot," Williams said. "Even now, we all talk about the things that he taught us. The majority of us that are coaching, it has a little bit of Michigan in it. It has some Lloyd in it. "I posted about him getting the tunnel today. I couldn't think of a quote, but two things that came to mind were, 'If you can't keep them from getting a yard, get off my damn field,' and 'blue twisted steel.' I've never seen blue twisted steel, but I assume it's tough and hard to tear apart. "I used to have people ask what it was like to play at Michigan. I didn't really know what to say since I never played anywhere else. But I did say I never felt like we were going to lose a game. He had us mentally ready for everything — games, school and off-the-field situ- ations. He was a huge part of the pro- gram." Carr helped shape Williams into the man he is today — a coach, a philanthro- pist and a father. But there was a time Williams had the weight of the world on his shoulders and was almost pressured to say no to Carr on the recruiting trail. Williams was a USA Today All-Amer- ica defensive back from Omaha Central High in Nebraska. Naturally, many be- lieved he would stay home and play for the in-state Cornhuskers. Instead, Wil- liams went against conventional wisdom and picked Michigan. "I did it the year after [Nebraska and Michigan] split the natty, so I was ruf- fling feathers," Williams said. "Nebraska was pretty much like Alabama at that time. Everybody where I was from always went there without taking a visit any- where else. I remember Lou Holtz came to pick up [former Green Bay Packers running back] Ahman Green in a white limousine. I knew for a fact he was go- ing to Notre Dame. But he committed to Nebraska without taking a visit. "Once it got to be my chance, I said I wanted to take all five visits, and I did. I actually decided it was going to be Michigan before I visited Nebraska, but my high school coach said, 'If you choose anywhere besides Nebraska without vis- iting, you won't get any honors.' He made me delay my announcement and visit Nebraska. "But Coach Carr knew. Today, they would call it a silent commitment. They understood I had to play the political game." A big reason Williams picked Michi- gan over Nebraska was the family feel. The Michigan family is brought up quite a bit in inter- views, and while it may sound cliché, it is in fact genuine. Even today, Williams still feels connected to the Maize and Blue. "The biggest thing I miss is my team- mates," Williams said. "I still talk to them every day. We have like three or four different group texts, and they all intertwine. The camaraderie at Michigan WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Brandon Williams Now Coaches, And He's Tackling Texas BBQ, Too Williams, a defensive back at U-M from 1999-2003, played in 45 games with six starts. He notched 74 career tackles and 2 interceptions as a Wolverine. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN  Williams "As much as I loved play- ing in The Big House, it was more of the people I was playing with."

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