|You may remember this. |
(Image via the Toledo Blade.)
However, with a career total of 42 tackles, 37 game appearances, two fumble recoveries, and an interception over a five year career, it's obvious that Herron's contributions to the football program extend far beyond those magical three quarters of football. Brandon was recently kind enough to take a few minutes out of his weekend to talk very candidly about his Michigan memories and answer several reader questions.
The WMU game: "It was an exciting point in my career; I never thought something like that would happen to me. But as they say, hard work pays off, and I worked my tail off that summer and played a role to become a starter. . . . A lot of people didn't realize I had the speed to take it 94 yards, so that was a play that really showcased my speed."
The injury: "I can't blame anyone but myself, but obviously during the game I was holding the ball wrong, and my coach actually had me hold the ball while we were running the next day. And I was a little sore, but in my mind, I was trying to get better, and I ran a little hard, harder than expected, and I ended up tearing my hip flexor. . . . It happened the day after the Western Michigan game, and it took me awhile [to heal]. . . .
Weight: "I've struggled with weight my entire life, and I really wasn't an eater. I didn't have to worry about it in high school; it's just when I got to college that it was like, 'Okay, you need to put on a certain weight.' And with the training staff, if you didn't make weight, you couldn't work out. That was the only punishment. Well, it wasn't really a punishment - if you wanted to get better, you'd make the weight."
Humor: "When you're on the sidelines, everyone's pretty much in the zone. I don't think I have any funny moments on the sideline, but I can tell Purdue probably has some funny fans. They know a lot about you. It surprises you because they know your girlfriend's name and everything else. I don't know how they know that stuff; they'll say some nasty things, but it's really funny. . . . I looked forward to Purdue because I looked forward to hearing what they had to say. . . . Kelvin Grady probably had the best humor [on the team]."
Special teams: "Well, I didn't come to Michigan to be a special teams player. I came to Michigan to become that player, that starter. But due to a lot of injuries, that became my role, and I had to accept that role. I had to use the special teams to step up and become a starter because that's how it's usually done. You prove to the coaches that you want to play when you get it done on special teams."
Differences between the coaching staffs: "Coach Hoke and Coach Carr, they were both - and even Coach Rod is a wonderful coach. But Coach Rod went about doing things different, which is okay, but going from a Big East school to a Big Ten school where it's all about tradition, it's just one of those things. Michigan is one of those schools that lives off of tradition, and if you try to break it and players know that, then sometimes players can go against the grain. . . . The thing people fail to realize is when we get going with the game, there are certain ways how to approach kids, and if you're coming at them from the wrong way, then they're going to respond differently. It's one of those things that happened to where Coach Rod approached us the wrong way, and it kind of divided up the team, and players began playing for themselves rather than playing for the team. . . . Coach Hoke and Coach Carr were likable coaches that people want to be around them. They are very warmhearted and just want to help others out. I'm not saying that Coach Rod didn't want to help anybody, but there are certain people that you can be around where they don't have to say anything, but you can read them, and you know that they want to help you."
Three and Out: "No, I haven't had a chance to read it, but I know he [John U. Bacon] isn't welcome in the building anymore. I'm sure he said something about Coach Carr, and he didn't like it or took it the wrong way, so he's not allowed in Schembechler hall. . . . People are interested and want to know what we do, which is fine, but just being under Coach Carr and Coach Hoke - and after a while Coach Hoke put locks on the doors and codes for us because he doesn't want everyone in the building knowing our business. . . . The more people that know your business, the more trouble you'll have."
Free Press Report: "Oh, are you talking about the 20-hour rule? Well, honestly, everybody breaks the 20-hour rule. It's okay to break the 20-hour rule. But in my opinion, there're times when things become a little too much, and players and our bodies are starting to break down and everything else. Former players that went under Michigan and were able to speak - they were looking out for us. And they're the ones that went to the NCAA and told them that our bodies were going through some things. And not to knock anybody down, but I'm not going to lie. Even though it was tremendously hard and football is hard in general, but just during that time in my career, I went through a ride, and it made me a better person and a better man, and it made me appreciate things a lot more in life. So when those allegations happened, I can say that maybe it was a sigh of relief that we were going to change some things up a little bit, or we were forced to change things up. But actually it was better for us; it was better for the health of players."