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Posted on Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 7:23 p.m.

Brandon Graham, Zoltan Mesko, Donovan Warren named all-Big Ten

By Dave Birkett

Brandon Graham, Zoltan Mesko and Donovan Warren, 3 of the few standouts in Michigan's disappointing season, were named all-Big Ten on Monday.

Graham, the national leader with 25 tackles for loss, and Mesko, one of 3 finalists for the Ray Guy Award, were chosen first team by both the conference media and coaches. Warren earned first-team honors from the media and second-team recognition by coaches.

No other Wolverines were selected for either team.


Brandon Graham was named a first-team, all-Big Ten member Monday night after leading the nation with 25 tackles for loss this season.

Lon Horwedel |

Wisconsin's John Clay was the consensus Offensive Player of the Year, while Michigan State's Greg Jones (media) and Penn State's Jared Odrick (coaches) shared Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland beat out Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier for Freshman of the Year, and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was named Coach of the Year.

Graham tied for second in the Big Ten with 9 1/2 sacks, while Mesko led the conference with a 44.5 yard per punt average. Warren intercepted four passes for the Wolverines, who lost their last five games and tied for last in the Big Ten.

Offensive guard Steve Schilling was an honorable mention all-conference selection by both the media and coaches.

(Complete list of all-Big Ten teams and honors here).

More Michigan notes

• Running back Brandon Minor will not require surgery on his injured left shoulder, running backs coach Fred Jackson said. "That's the good news," Jackson said. "But he’s been banged up pretty good."

• Jackson, Michigan's longest tenured assistant, said he plans to return for a 19th season. His son, Jeremy Jackson, has given the Wolverines a non-binding verbal commitment and plans to enroll in January.

• Tony Pauline of listed Warren among his draft sliders. Pauline wrote that Warren "looked like a star in the making early" in his career, but "has never taken his game to the next level." Warren said last week he'll explore his draft options this winter, and Pauline said "word is he will enter the draft."

• On Graham, Pauline said scouts have compared him to Denver Broncos linebacker Elvis Dumervil. Graham doesn't have prototype NFL size, but remains a likely high-round draft pick. "This may be an instance where size/speed numbers are discounted on draft boards for a prospect who is just a terrific player," Pauline wrote.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 12:08 p.m.

I was totally shocked BG didn't win defensive player of the year. I was really surprised Rolle from OSU wasn't even an honorable mention for LB, that kid was flying around the Big House saturday. And he's done it all year long. I am disgusted that sparty got so many players selected. and that penn state's weak offensive line got 3 players selected. Molk should have been on there just for the fact that his absence caused a huge drop in the line's ability here


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 11:22 a.m.

Michigan has 7 good football players and out of the seven 3 are great (Brandon Graham, Zoltan Mesko, Donovan Warren). The rest of the team is young and is still need to get their feet wet.


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 9:40 a.m.

I guess UM has talent after all. You wouldn't know it from listening to RR and his lap dog Matt Millen.

David Briegel

Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 7:54 a.m.

It was an absolute pleasure to watch these guys! I wish all three the best in their future in the NFL!


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 7:49 a.m.

How does Michigan have more all Big Ten players than champion Ohio State and wind up in last place? Answer Rich Rod


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 6:35 a.m.

Congrats to the 3. Im sure we'll see Zoltan and BG get all-american honors as well. I hope BG uses some of these "evaluators" comments as motivation to cause havoc on qbs and rbs alike when he gets to the league


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 11:33 p.m.

That Pauline guy is really being short sighted in evaluating Brandon Graham...he has just as much size as many speed rushing ends in the NFL, and is very quick and fast. Those are his strengths actually, the kid is tremendously athletic. His weaknesses would be in run stopping but that is not what he is going to get paid for in the NFL.


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 9:41 p.m.

Come back another year Donovan!! We need you...badly. Greg Robinson better be doing all he can to keep him. Just play the you're not quite ready card...take him out to the nicest restaraunts in town...hook him up with some nice young ladies...he'll stay


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 9:25 p.m.

Congrats to all three. I'd love to see Warren stay because, well, he's better than anyone else back there. Mesko should win the Guy, and Graham should just have an award named after him. Thanks for the great effort guys! Go Blue!