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