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Posted on Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Michigan linebacker Brandon Herron named Walter Camp national defensive player of the week

By Kyle Meinke

Brandon Herron set two Michigan records and scored his first two touchdowns since eighth grade Saturday in a rain-shortened 34-10 win against Western Michigan.

Not bad for three-fourths of a day's work from a backup linebacker who was the first player to switch positions this fall, and today it earned him the Walter Camp defensive player of the week award.


Brandon Herron

The senior from Stafford, Texas, helped lead Michigan to victory by returning a second-quarter interception 94 yards for a touchdown, a school record. It injected life into a Wolverines defense that was off to a listless start.

"They started believing they could get to him, believe in the man-coverage aspect of it and that we could cover those guys," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said after the game. "Any time you can rattle a quarterback — (WMU's) Alex Carder doesn't get rattled that often when you look at the tape — I think that was a big momentum change for us."

Herron, who moved from middle to weak-side linebacker toward the start of camp, said his play helped change the tone of the game.

"We were a little shaky at first, and struggled with communication," he said. "We just needed to get some poise."

In the third quarter, Herron added to his bounty by picking up a fumble by Carder — who was delivered a crushing blow by safety Jordan Kovacs — and rambled 29 yards for another touchdown.

"We made a check, and it's something that just happened in the moment," Herron said.

He's the first defensive player in Wolverines history to score two touchdowns in a game, and he's the first Michigan player of any kind to score on two returns in a game since Tom Harmon in 1940 (punt, kick return).

Herron — who benefited from Kovacs' hit forcing Carder's fumble as well as freshman linebacker Jake Ryan tipping the pass he intercepted in the first half — credited his teammates for his big day.

"This is not about any individual," Herron said.

Herron had a career-high eight tackles against Western Michigan. His previous best of five was against Western Michigan in 2009.

He is the first Michigan player to earn a Walter Camp award since quarterback Denard Robinson earned it on offense the first two weeks of last season.

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III earned the offensive award this week after leading his team to a 50-48 upset of No. 14 TCU.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.


Blu n Tpa

Mon, Sep 5, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

These comments about team, commitment to others, sharing success with those that help make it possible and the Brady Hoke ideal: Wanting players to be good young men, husbands, father, friends and neighbors touch very close to my heart this morning. You see a man who embrased all those qualities and more has passed. Lee Roy Selmon, age 56, died Sunday in Tampa following a stroke. As the St Petersburg Times headline reads; A GIANT LOSS. If it was only that, it might be bearable. A kind thought to his family and friends would be appropriate today. And if you feel good about yourself afterwards then you will understand the magic of Mr. Selmon.


Mon, Sep 5, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Well deserved honor. Unbelievable, isn't it? A defensive player earning a national award after the previous three years...

Long Time No See

Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 11:50 p.m.

** "This is not about any individual," Herron said. I hate to disagree with him, but it is about an individual to some extent. He did happen to be in the right place at the right time... TWICE in the same game... but even if it had been just once, he did exactly what he needed to do at that right time. Not everyone can or would do that, and he deserves some individual credit for doing it.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

Go back and look at the video and see who he gives ultimate credit to. You'll understand why he's not claiming individual glory.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

It was nice to see the Defense shine.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

I watched Brandon on video feeds at ... what's not to like about this kid? In a world of trash-talking nonsense, here's Herron (and every other Michigan player, near as I can figure) shying away from individual glory and giving credit to the team. Schembechler is smiling down on them for sure. Did y'all catch Robert Griffin III post-game? Ditto ... poised, smart, well-spoken ... a terrific representative of his team and his school. He's a helluva QB (fantastic "touch" on deep balls) and by what I could see a fine young man as well. Brady Hoke speaks -- sincerely, by all accounts -- of wanting first and foremost to teach his players to be good young men, husbands and fathers. In an age where MTV vomits out such stuff as "Jersey Shore" and some schools celebrate the trash-talking athlete-god, having someone of Hoke's character leading these young men gives me some hope. Hoke is not alone ... all across this country there are coaches who teach the age-old virtues of team, self-sacrifice and commitment to purpose. Thank God for people like Hoke.


Sun, Sep 4, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

Amen bro.