Today is a great day to wish a Happy Birthday to Michigan Man Brandon Herron. Texan Brandon Charles Herron was born on this day in 1988. He grew up to be an outstanding football player in Texas. So, that tells you something right there. Brandon came to Michigan with an outstanding record of accomplishment and he wanted to do the same at Michigan.
Brandon arrived in Ann Arbor in the fall of 2007. Herron was re-shirted during his freshman year. So, he did not play and he did not letter on Lloyd Carr’s last Michigan team. Of course, Coach Carr retired at the end of the 2007 season. Brandon Herron would have to impress Coach Rich Rodriguez if he wanted to play linebacker at Michigan.
The 2008 season was one of “good” news and “bad” news for Brandon Herron. The “good” news was that he played on special teams in all twelve games during the season and he earned his first varsity letter. The “bad” news was that he didn’t start any games at linebacker. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a “bad” season for Coach Rodriguez and the Wolverines. Michigan ended the season with a record of 3 wins and 9 losses. It was ugly!
Brandon had a better season in 2009 and so did the Wolverines. Herron played in all twelve games and earned his second letter. He saw a lot of action on special teams and at linebacker. So, that was good for him. However, Michigan continued to struggle on the field. The Wolverines won their first four games and then pretty much fell apart in the Big Ten portion of their schedule. Coach Rodriguez saw his team finish the season with a record of 5 wins and 7 losses. Unfortunately, they set a record for Big Ten futility at Michigan with a final conference record of 1 wins and 7 losses. Ouch!
Herron came back in 2010. He, along with all his teammates, was hoping for a much better season in 2010. Once again, the Wolverines rolled through their non-conference schedule and their first Big Ten game. They were perfect at 5 wins and 0 losses. Then, Sparty smacked them down by a score of 34-17 and the season went downhill from there. The good news was that Brandon Herron played a lot more, when he wasn’t battling some injuries. He earned his fourth letter and Michigan earned a bowl bid. The Wolverines finished the season with a winning record for the first, and only, time in the Rodriguez Era. Michigan posted a final record of 7 wins and 6 losses after a blow-out loss (14-52) to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Brandon Herron would be playing for his third head coach in five years after Coach Rodriguez was fired in January 2011. Brady Hoke was a breath of fresh air for most Michigan players. Brandon’s fifth year at Michigan started out great. He set two records in his first start, made a career high 8 tackles, scored two touchdowns and won Defensive Player of the Week honors from five different football agencies. It was a great start to his final season. Unfortunately, Brandon suffered an injury the next week. His recovery time was way too long and he never started another game for the Wolverines.
In addition to playing some good football for Michigan, Brandon Herron was part of many interesting Michigan Football “firsts.” Here they are:
- Brandon Herron played on the first Rich Rodriguez team in 2008.
- Herron played on the first, and only, 7-loss Big Ten season (1-7-0) in Michigan Football History (2009).
- Brandon Herron played on the first Brady Hoke team in 2011.
- Herron, in his first Michigan career start, became the only defensive player in Michigan Football History to return an interception and a fumble for a touchdown in the same game. (35-10 win over WMU in a game ended by lighting.)
- Brandon Herron is the first, and only, man in Michigan Football History to return an interception for 94-yards and a touchdown. (Also, against WMU on 9/3/2011.)
- Herron played on the first Michigan football team to win the Sugar Bowl in January 2012.
Brandon had three different head coaches at Michigan. He didn’t have any control over the coaching situation during his time in Ann Arbor. All he could do was practice hard and give everything he had to Michigan. So, that’s exactly what he did. If you read the ESPN article below, you will feel Brandon’s disappointment, but also his sense of accomplishment. Brandon played a memorable game against Western Michigan on September 3, 2011. He earned four varsity letters, appeared in a ton of games and made some very BIG plays. He left as a Sugar Bowl Champion. Yes, his Michigan career had some “ups” and “downs.” However, he did everything his coaches asked him to do and you can’t do much better than that!
Happy Birthday Brandon Herron. I hope you have a great time on your special day. Thanks for the memories. (Note, I was there for his first start against WMU and it was great to see his record-setting performance. Just wish he could have stayed healthy!) Go Blue!