The legend of Brandon Graham’s off season has grown to the point it’s taken on a Chuck Norris/Bill Bradsky type persona. "Brandon Graham does not do push-ups, instead he pushes the earth down." "Brandon once drank a gallon of chocolate milk after a workout, in one swallow." "If harnessed properly, one Brandon Graham workout creates enough energy to power Cincinnati for a week." Things like that
While hyperbole has it’s place on the interwebs, there is good reason for Michigan fans’ excitement about this outstanding young player. Graham was one of the few bright spots early in a season that appeared dark as a moonless night. Over the course of the season, Graham racked up 8.5 sacks and 25 tackles, all coming from the End position. As with the entire Michigan team, Graham wore down as the season progressed and his early sack numbers barely eeked northward.
This year has the potential to be a Lombardi Award type season for Graham. Aided by a state of the art strength and conditioning regime, an aggressive new defensive coordinator, and linemates that are arguably the best in the conference, Graham has the potential to be as dominant a defensive end as Llamar Woodley, just two seasons ago.
While Graham has developed an array of moves, he was at his best simply blowing past opposing ends with his speed. Where Graham struggled last year was freeing himself when faced with larger stronger tackles. This year, that doesn’t appear to be as much of a problem. While Michigan’s offensive line was nothing to write home about, Graham spent most of his spring practice slicing through double teams or plowing over his opposite. There has been a constant stream of praise for this young man over the last eight months and there is no doubting the physical ability of the young man Phil Steele rated as the #2 linebacker in his recruiting class.
Brandon Graham is going to be something special this year. Just watch and see.