Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
University of Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez announced Thursday (Nov. 19) following practice the four permanent captains elected for the 130th team in school history. Linebacker Stevie Brown (Columbus, Ind./Columbus East HS), defensive end Brandon Graham (Detroit, Mich./Crockett Technical HS), punter Zoltan Mesko (Twinsburg, Ohio/Twinsburg HS) and left tackle Mark Ortmann (Klein, Texas/Klein HS) were selected by their teammates as captains of the 2009 football team.
“Our players have selected four student-athletes who represent our program at the highest level both on and off the field,” said Rodriguez. “Stevie, Brandon, Zoltan and Mark have played at a high level all season and received the greatest honor that a player can receive, selection as captain by your peers. They, and our other seniors, will lead us into Michigan Stadium Saturday to play the greatest rivalry game in college football.”
Brown joins Graham as a defensive captain. He is the team’s leading tackler with 73 stops and is second with eight tackles for loss, both career highs. Brown has also contributed one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass breakups. He has started all 11 games at linebacker and will see action in his 50th career game when U-M faces Ohio State.
Graham is the most dominant defensive lineman in the Big Ten, racking up a league and NCAA-best 21 tackles for loss. He has 8.5 sacks on the year and has contributed at least one quarterback stop in six of the past seven games. Graham has recorded a career-best 57 tackles, two PBUs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has also contributed on special teams, blocking two punts and returning another for his first career touchdown. An All-America candidate, Graham is second all-time at Michigan in sacks (27.5) and third in tackles for loss (51).
Mesko is one of the nation’s top all-around student-athletes, excelling on the field, in the classroom and the community. He leads the Big Ten and is sixth nationally in punting with a career-best 44.7-yard average this season. A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award for the second straight season, Mesko has punted 46 times for 2,054 yards. He had 16 fair caught, 15 boots of 50 yards or better and 13 downed inside the opposition’s 20-yard line. Mesko is a finalist for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award, the Danny Wuerffel Trophy and has been named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. He earned CoSIDA Academic All-District IV first team honors and is top candidate for Academic All-America honors.
Ortmann has started all 11 games at left tackle and helped anchor the Wolverines’ offense that is rated top in the Big Ten in scoring (31.3 points per game) and is second in rushing offense (195.8 avg.). He has started 24 contests and played in 35 games during his career.
The captains will lead the Wolverines against No. 9 Ohio State Saturday (Nov. 21) at Michigan Stadium. The 106th meeting will be televised nationally by ESPN on ABC at noon EST.
Following is the team’s injury report for the game against the Buckeyes:
David Molk (knee)
Brandon Minor (shoulder)
Mike Williams (ankle)
Martavious Odoms (knee)
Most obvious captaining ever, but good for them. I really wish Brandon Minor could, like, play against OSU. They've appreared to have left injured people off the report, but the coaches have never listed someone as out and then played them. Damn.
Thoughts and prayers to the family
Too sad... condolences.
Cancer is a hideous, cruel disease. Someone ought to provide a little more info on Stefanie for those who don't know who she is and will wonder at the RIP comments.
Why not, the injury report has been misleading all year. I don't see the downside of retiring the report after this year anyways, since it hasn't added much.
Please Brandon, truck a fool. :-(
For me, any hope of M staying close this weekend hinged on a heavy dose of Minor Rage, a la PSU last year. Crap Crap Crap.
If it is gamesmanship, maybe we see Minor RAGE in the second half where we've struggled all year to have any sort of spark... that would certainly be a devious plan on RR's part
Even Adam Rittenberg really wanted to see Minor out there one more time. I know I did.
Good for Stevie. He deserves a lot of credit for stepping up this year in a new role. Congrats to all.
If Minor's being held out of the game because of a shoulder injury, it has to be a significant injury. That guy is a fighter.
The only Michigan player to score a TD against OSU in 2 years is out... ggggrrrreeeeaaaattttt
I am so bummed for Minor. It must be eating him alive not to be able to play.
I'll be using Minor's injury for an excuse in case we lose on Saturday.
is a bit like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted. All these guys are worthy captains, but at this point it's a ceremonial gesture with no real functional value. If these guys were good enough to merit the captaincy through the election of their fellow players, they were good enough to have been given the formal, public responsibilities of leadership from the beginning of the season. The rotating captains stuff reminds of the need to make every school kid a "winner."
...is, by definition, "ceremonial," not "functional."
the team knows who the leaders are whether they have a 'c' on their jersey or not. the names of the team captains are only meaningful outside the program.
I want to arrange my daughters marriage to him...
That's gonna be one hell of a dowry to land your daughter the Space Emperor
We can't let Minor's career end now. We've got to win this and get him one more game.
can't decide if williams in is better than out?
i guess i will know at about 3:30 on saturday.
Well, that just plain sucks.
Yes I edited this post because apparently some people thought I was being sarcastic about Minor being hurt.
But the most depressing thing I have seen all week is OSU gear on the sidebar ad on MgoBlog.
SHUT ER DOWN.
The offense has struggled without him. Plus, he can be a threat in the return game as well.
Odoms can be a threat to fumble on returns, too. Not that this distinguishes him from other M returners.
I'm happy for Stevie Brown.
I'm sad for Brandon Minor.
Prayers for the Spielmans. May she rest in peace
Even though we may hate the other team, the respect for the opponent is great. Like the dead schembechlers donating the entrance money from their shows to Bo's foundation.
...is a great, great thing. after all the idiotic "stevie brown = death" message board posts, where he was blamed for every thing from THE HORROR to 3-9 to the rich hewlett era to global warming, it's nice to see him recognized for his leadership. he's come so far - there's even been a (admittedly quiet) undercurrent of "wasted redshirt aaargh" sentiment on his behalf.
i'm bummed that we're coming to the end of the brandons, but i'm sad to see stevie go, too. he's been a credit.
What, no 'I posted' tag?
What a ripoff!!!
I think Brandon Minor has played injured more times than we will ever know it. When you talk about "one play away" for Michigan, just think about Brandon and "one injury away". If we could have had Brandon healthy for an entire season things would be different. No one wants to see a player not at his best. It hurt me to watch Mike Hart struggle with his injury and it pains me to watch Brandon battle with his injuries this season. Both would have been given much more credit for their contributions to this team if they had been able to be injury-free. God-Bless Brandon, and thanks for everything this year.
Brandon Minor: Michigan's Best Running Back that Never Played
Assuming that Minor does not play Saturday:
2008-2009: Minor had 199 carries in his last two seasons, with a 5.2 YPC average, 17 TDs.
6 Games with 15+ touches per game.
2006-2007: Hart had 583 carries in his last two seasons, with a 5.0 YPC average, 28 TDs.
23 Games with 15+ touches per game.
2002-2003: Perry had 605 carries in his last two seasons, with a 4.6 YPC average, 32 TDs.
23 Games with 15+ touches per game.
It's entirely possible that, if Minor had been healthy, he would have eclipsed Hart over the last two years.
In RR's offense? A totally healthy Minor eclipses even the great Hart's and Perry's numbers. When even 85% healthy, Minor is an NFL RB. The dude is a freakin stud.
Nice post, by the way. An interesting collection of data that gives a tip of the cap to Brandon and a wistful "what might have been."
I would've made Minor one of the captains. Oh well.
I am in shock.
I was hoping, praying, that somehow Minor, one of the tougher guys on this team, would find a way to see the field. Wow. I feel so bad for him. And yet more bad news for this team.
Don't ever make a blog post with the title "Injurty Report" and right underneath it "Filed Under Brandon Graham". My heart can't take those kind of shocks.
/Moot point in Brandon is a Senior
//Except For the Bowl Game of Course!
I'm really sad for Brandon. He is one tough kid and I know he would have loved to play. Quite simply if he had ever been healthy he would have been a beast. We need to get him one more game, it can't end like this for him.