4B - January 19, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 6
With award-winning season behind him,
Graham discusses his draft prospects
xperts vary on itinerary.
(Right now) I'm just maintain-
aham's expected ing my focus, working out as much
as I can and getting football-ready
'aft position for for the Senior Bowl," Graham said.
Graham earned second-team
pril NFL Draft All-America honors in 2009, lead-
ing the nation with 26 tackles for
By GJON JUNCAJ loss and recording 10.5 sacks in 12
Daily Sports Writer games. In 47 career games, Gra-
ham notched 56 tackles for loss
as a brief, fleeting moment and 29.5 sacks.
a tense basketball game, Graham said he's spent much
andon Graham still put a of his time within the walls of
lehold on the spotlight once Schembechler Hall with Michigan
almost readying himself for Strength and Conditioning coach
otlight awaiting him at the Mike Barwis, grinding through
raft in April. the same workouts he did during
outgoing senior defensive football season in preparation for
as honored during the first the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb.
the Michigan men's basket- 24.
m's victory over No.15 Con- "(Barwis) knows what it takes
ut on Sunday. The Detroit to get it done," Graham said of
took center court with Wol- Barwis's ability to mold NFL-cal-
football coach Rich Rodri- iber bodies. "That's why I really
o celebrate Graham's most chose to stay here and work out
accomplishment. with him. My agent thought it was
ham was awarded the Chi- a great idea, because Mike Barwis
ribune Silver Football as co- is the best. I appreciate everything
n MVP for the 2009 season. he does for me.
m - just the second defen- "I'm very excited about the
ayer in the past 25 years whole process and getting ready. I
the award - was greeted know I'm goingto go out there and
standing ovation at Crisler show out. That's what I do."
After soaking in the cheers, Graham said he isn't sure where
m hoisted the trophy high he'll be selected in April's upcom-
is head, jogging toward the ing NFL Draft, but is confident
Rage with his trademark he will be chosen within the first
ear grin. two rounds. He said he's heard a
carefree and comfortable wide variety of opinions but hasn't
seemed Sunday, the days worried too much about his draft
ly become more pressure- stock.
from here. The effec- And the experts differ greatly
d of Graham's offseason is on Graham's pro potential - and
ching quickly, with prac- even his ideal position. ESPN
r the 2010 Under Armour Scouts Inc. ranks Graham as the
Bowl beginning Jan. 25 in 42nd overall draft prospect and
, Ala. Graham said he hasn't the No. 7 defensive end in the
iy coaches from his North class. But others see Graham mov-
yet, but has spoken briefly ing to outside linebacker at the
resident Steve Hale and has next level.
some passing glances at his NFLDraftScout.com (a CBS
(LEFT) SAIDALSALAH/Daily, (RIGHT) ZACHARYMEISNER/Daily
Outgoing senior defensive end Brandon Graham earned this year's Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award as the co-MVP of the Big Ten. He is only the second defensive
player in 25 years to earn the award. Graham is currently preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine in February with Michigan Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Barwis.
Sports affiliate) rates Graham the
18th-best player overall in their
latest mock draft, and have him
slotted as the third linebacker to
be selected in April.
For those reasons, Graham
suggested he is content with con-
trolling only what he does in the
weight room, and putting his
faith in agent Joel Segal of Blue
Equity Sports Television (BEST), about his job," Graham said. "He
who also represents senior run- does the best job, and I appreciate
ning back Brandon Minor. everything he's done for me. He
"Joel Segal is all about his play- gives me great advice. He's always
ers, all about his client and all going to keep me 12 steps ahead."
Senior Ryan McCarthy dismounts at last year's Big Ten Championships at Crisler Arena. McCarthy turned in a great effort in the Wolverines' second-place finish at the
Windy City Invitational in Chicago last weekend, setting a career high in both the parallel bars (14.6) and high bar (14.95) events.
'M' eaves Chicago disappointed
after close second-place finish
With new workout
focuses on NCAA
By RYAN A. PODGES
Daily Sports Writer
Usually, a coach would be wor-
ried if his team entered a competi-
But going into the SMU Classic
in Dallas on Friday and Saturday,
men's swimming and diving coach
Mike Bottom wasn't concerned
that his team was exhausted.
In fact, he was glad.
Junior Tyler Clary described the
team's preparation during the days
before the meet.
"We swam a hard threshold
workout on Monday, we had a
hard lactate workout on Tuesday,
Wednesday was really tough and
we lifted hard on Thursday."
And as if that wasn't enough,
Bottom had the team swim 6,000
yards each morning before the
meet even started. Enough to swim
down the length of a football field
and back 30 times.
Despite their fatigue, the Wol-
verines battled and won the meet
for the second-straight year. They
faced a difficult field of six teams
including No. 6 Florida, No. 13
Southern California, No. 19 Purdue
and several professional swimmers
from Swim MAC Carolina, a club
team. With only two heats of each
event, Michigan was allowed to
bring just eight of its top swimmers
and one diver.
While the Wolverines may not
be used to such intensity before a
meet, it wasn't torture or punish-
ment. It's all part of the coaches'
plan to prepare for better perfor-
mances in the NCAA Champion-
ships, for which the Wolverines got
off to a slow start last year in Bot-
tom's first season as coach.
the in-season meets and when we
got to the NCAA meet we weren't
as sharp as we should have been,"
senior co-captain Andr6 Schultz
said. "Our approach nowis rougher,
it's tougher and it hurts a lot more
to race, but I think it's going to be
worth it in the long run."
Claryled the team in points from
individual events. He won the 400-
yard individual medley (3:50.09)
and the consolation finals of the
100-yard backstroke. Senior co-
captain Chris Brady won the 100-
yard butterfly (47.36) and placed
second in the SO-yard freestyle
behind Cullen Jones, a U.S. Olym-
pic gold medalist in 2008.
Senior Alon Mandel won the
consolation finals in the 200-yard
butterfly. He placed second in the
championship heat of the 100-yard
backstroke - losingto MAC's Nichol
Thoman, who set a new pool record.
"I had a really good meet," Man-
del said. "I swam faster than last
year when I was wearing a full
body suit (which is longer allowed)
so that was encouraging because
there is a physical and psychologi-
cal componentto notwearingthat."
And Michigan's performance
was more than encouraging. Even
though the Wolverines failed to
win a single championship final on
the second day of competition, their
overall consistency in the lineup
won the meet.
Bottom, widely considered one
of the world's best sprint coaches,
loves so develop a strong mentality
for racing in his swimmers. And he
enjoyed watching his team fight for
every point in the close races.
"We're building character,
we're building camaraderie, learn-
ing how to race and we're gaining
momentum," he said. "That's the
process of building a good team and
hopefully this carries over to the
next meet and the next meet."
If it does, there's one thing no
one will be tired of. Winning.
EMU: While nine of their team-
mates competed in Texas at the
SMU Classic, the rest of the Wol-
verines competed against, neigh-
boring Eastern Michigan.
Like last year, all events in the
meet were relays, with each relay
team consisting of swimmers from
both schools. The meet was not
"It's a great opportunity to rec-
ognize the community and fel-
lowship of athletics," Michigan
assistantcoach Dr. Josh White said.
"Competition is usually the main
focus, but the friendship between
these two schools that are so close,
the community of the sport is what
we were tryingto emphasize."
four highly ranked
teams in annual
By CAITLIN SMITH
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - Between event
rotations, an unexpected "Go!"
emanates from the huddle of
Michigan gymnasts. From across
the gym, a group of Wolverine
fans shout, "Blue!" in response -
trying to excite both the athletes
and spectators alike. It was hard
to believe that the match was 250
miles away from Ann Arbor.
On Saturday night, the Michi-
gan men's gymnastics team took
second place at the Windy City
Invitational, ahead of Big Ten
opponents No. 7 Ohio State, No. 8
Minnesota and No. 10 Iowa, and
also No. 11 Illinois-Chicago.
Michigan was looking to win
back-to-back Windy City Invita-
tional titles, but they fell just short
of No. 5 Illinois. The fourth-ranked
Wolverines scored 351.350 points,
just two points fewer than the
Fighting Illini. Ohio State claimed
third place with a score of 347.150.
Michigan and Ohio State battled
for firstrplace throughout the invita-
tional, with the Wolverines holding
the lead going into the final round.
But two Michigan falls on dismount
from the still rings allowed Illinois
to slip pastrthe Wolverines.
"We certainly didn't deserve to
win," Michigan coach Kurt Gold-
er said. "We missed a lot of rou-
tines and there were a lot of areas
where we were very sloppy. We
can be a very good team, but we
have a long way to go and we've
got to work a little bit harder."
Though the Wolverines didn't
attain their first-place expecta-
tions, several individuals had
strong performances. Redshirt
sophomore Devan Cote and junior
Ian Makowske both set career pretty much to hit tonight, so I
highs on the high bar with scores was pretty happy with howI did."
of 14.65 and 14.2, respectively. Golder was more than satisfied
Redshirt senior Ryan McCar- with McCarthy's performance.
thy also set a career high in both "Ryan did a great job tonight,"
of his events. McCarthy placed Golder said. "If everyone did what
second in the parallel bars event, Ryan did tonight, we would have
won by a huge margin."
Junior Chris Cameron, who
took first place all-around at
"W e have kind the invitational last year, also
bolstered the Wolverines' final
of gotten score. Cameron competed in all
six events and had four top-five
a little soft." finishes to lead Michigan. He
also earned fifth place in the all-
around with a score of 85.100.
Golder, Cameron, and the rest
tallying a 14.6, and also earned of the Wolverines all agree that,
a 14.95 for his high bar routine, despite a sloppy start, the team
which he confidently ended by should will do well this season.
sticking a difficult full twisting "We have kind of gotten a little
double layout dismount. soft, so we're going to regain that
"Usually at the beginning of hunger that we had and really
the year, the goal is to just hit attack it in the gym," Cameron
your set," McCarthy said. "First said. "Then we can be 6-for-6, 36
you hit, and then you work on per- routines, all of them hits. That's
fecting your routine. My goal was the goal."