You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Dec 8, 2009 : 11:25 p.m.

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham shares Silver Football award

By Dave Birkett

Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham and Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark were named co-recipients of the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football award on Tuesday.

The award, voted on annually by Big Ten coaches, recognizes the league's most outstanding player.

Graham is the first defensive player to win the award since former Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson in 1997.

Graham and Clark received 3 first-place votes and 1 second-place vote each for 7 total points. Wisconsin running back John Clay, the other finalist, had 2 first-place votes and 5 points.

Graham led the nation with 26 tackles for loss and was a first-team all-conference selection, though Penn State's Jared Odrick was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year in a vote by coaches.

Clark threw for 2,787 yards and league-best 23 touchdowns.

Besides Graham and Woodson, Illinois defensive tackle Don Thorp (1983), Michigan State defensive tackle Larry Bethea, Michigan State (1977); Illinois linebacker Dick Butkus (1963), Illinois guard Bill Burrell (1959) and Wisconsin defensive end Dave Schreiner (1942) are the only other defenders to win the award.

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.



Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 8:54 a.m.

BG was amazing, but he'll also be remembered as one of the few seniors to never beat ohio state. The same way that Henne, Hart, and Long are remembered.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 8:11 p.m.

tomahagan, So true. Graham has more than earned his place as an all-time Michigan great. He will be forever remembered, by me at least, as a player who gave his all to win regardless of what of what the score was or any other controversy going on around him. He's an all-timer.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 11:56 a.m.

Bg is the man..we need this D to step up and play like a team were everyone makes plays not just 1 or 2 guys.

Sean T.

Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 11:51 a.m.

I agree 81wolverine.... And Tomhagan we could've really used a few more Brandon Graham's on our roster this year. And your last sentence rings so true!


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 10:42 a.m.

That's great. Graham had a great year and deserved to share the award with Daryll Clark. It IS kind of baffling though, why Graham didn't win the defensive player of the year award too. He should have AT LEAST won the d-lineman of the year award. Oh well.


Wed, Dec 9, 2009 : 12:15 a.m.

This is such a great honor. Brandon deserves it completely. At times he was completely unblockable and always played with a high motor and effort. I look forward to watching him on Sundays. Brandon earned his place as one of the very top defensive players in Michigan Wolverine football history.