Congrats to BG. Via U-M Media Relations this evening:
Graham Shares Chicago Tribune Silver Football with Penn State’s Daryll Clark
CHICAGO, Ill. – University of Michigan senior defensive end Brandon Graham (Detroit, Mich./Crockett Technical HS) became the 16th player in school history to be awarded the Chicago Tribune Silver Football, sharing the honor as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player with Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark. Voted upon by the league’s coaches, it’s the first time the conference’s top honor has been awarded to co-recipients. The Chicago Tribune Silver Football has been presented to the best player in the Big Ten annually since 1924.
Graham is the seventh defensive player in Big Ten history to receive the Silver Football. He joins former Wolverine and 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson as the only defensive players to win the award in the past 25 years. The only other defensive players to win the award were Illinois defensive tackle Don Thorp (1983), Michigan State defensive tackle Larry Bethea (1977), Illinois linebacker/center Dick Butkus (1963), Illinois middle guard Bill Burrell (1959) and Wisconsin defensive end Dave Schreiner (1942).
Graham is believed to be the first player in Big Ten history to post 20 or more tackles for loss in league play. He led the conference with 21 tackles for loss in eight league games and was second with 8.5 sacks during that stretch. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Graham posted 53 stops, two forced fumbles and blocked a pair of punts during Big Ten play.
A finalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year award, Graham led the nation with 26 tackles for loss and was tied for 15th nationally in sacks with 10.5 during the season. He contributed a career-best 64 tackles, two pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to go along with his TFL and sack totals. Graham also returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.
The announcement was made live during a 30-minute show on the Big Ten Network Tuesday night at 11 p.m. EST.
Following are Michigan’s Chicago Tribune Silver Football winners: DE Brandon Graham (2009), WR Braylon Edwards (2004), RB Chris Perry (2003), CB Charles Woodson (1997), WR Desmond Howard (1991), QB Jim Harbaugh (1986), WR Anthony Carter (1982), QB Rick Leach (1978), RB Rob Lytle (1976), RB Ron Johnson (1968), QB Bob Timberlake (1964), RB Jim Pace (1957), QB Chalmers “Bump” Elliott (1947), RB Tom Harmon (1940), QB Harry Newman (1932) and QB Benny Friedman (1926).
— M —
Here’s a photo of the previous Wolverine winner, Braylon Edwards himself flashing the hardware in the Big House: