a thing. He was so nervous.
Braylon just wanted to do so
Deep down, Stan knew his boy
wasn't as prepared as he should
be. Sometimes his routes weren't
as sharp or he wouldn't look a
pass all the way in. Little things
like that tend to pop up when you
After a forgettable fresh-
man year, spent biding his time,
Braylon exploded his sophomore
season - posting a 1,000-yard
season, something Anthony and
Derrick never did. Carr knew
there was no denying the boy's
Braylon figured Carr was in
an especially good mood after
Michigan's 38-30 win over Flor-
ida in the Outback Bowl - Bray-
ion had grabbed four passes for
110 yards. So he asked again for
the No.1 jersey.
Carr knew Braylon really
wanted the jersey: Maybe finally
wearing it could be the boy's
motivation to become great.
"I don't want to have to take-
this jersey away," Carr said to him,
"so these are the things I expect of
Braylon didn't live up to the
new expectations. At least, not
at first, and Braylon and Carr's
relationship took a turn for the
worse. Already, rumors had been
swirling that Braylon wasn't the
easiest to coach. Today, Carr
claims that the two never had
any "major problems," other than
when Braylon was late for a few
meetings at the very next train-
ing camp after being given the
"The difficult year was his
junior year, because that's when
he came late," Carr says. That's
when - you know, by that time, I
had expected him to be a leader."
"I had to guide him a lot of
times, show him the way," says
Braylon's position coach, Soup
Campbell. "Let him kibw what
the expectations were. ... When
he was late for a meeting, he
wasn't going to start that game.
"We weren't going to give him
anything. He had to earn it."
In that "rough" junior year,
Braylon amassed 85 catch- ., for
1138 yards and 15 touchdowns.
He could've left for the NFL, but
ultimately decided to stay.
He was getting it ... slowly.
When Stan watched Braylon
practice that spring before his
senior season, he knew this year
would be different for his boy.
"(Braylon) worked his butt
off," Soup says. "He knew then
what it was all about. We saw a
different Braylon Edwards."
The boy dominated a triple-
overtime thrilling comeback win
over Michigan State, and showed
up Ohio State two weeks later on
his way out.
That season put the son among
the greats - his 15 touchdowns
were second only to Desmond's
19; his 97 catches for 1,330 yards
broke both of Marquise Walker's
single-season records; his career-
total 3,541 yards and 39 touch-
downs broke both of Anthony
The father was finally again at
ease watching the boy play.
"Man, I was laying back, my
feet were up, because I knew that
one time in that game he was
going to take somebody," Stan
says. "I was comfortable, because
he had prepared that way."
What Stan is most proud of is
not the yards gained, not the No.
1 jersey or how some of Braylon's
exploits became stories of legend.
Stan's most proud that Braylon
loves Michigan enough to go
back. Stan did it, and he brought
Braylon vith him.
But the mood shifts when the
father talks about how the Mich-
igan community has treated his
son. Many were up in arms when
Braylon made a big deal about
how Rich Rodriguez handed the
No. 1 jersey to a freshman defen-
sive backn 2008.
. . '
September 3, 2011 vs. Western Michigan
.. , i
Braylon Edwards had 189 yards in Michigan's win over Michigan State in 2004.
"A lot of people want to know: and so it was assigned. He later
why does Braylon have a say?" apologized to Braylon, explain-
Stan says. ing that neither he nor Rodriguez
Stan sets the story straight real knew all of the particulars.
quick. When Braylon established Fans went bezerk. The media
the $500,000 scholarship fund had a field day. The No. 1 jer-
for receivers to carry on the No. sey does that to people. It had
1 tradition, it was the school that that affect on Braylon. Why else
brought it to him in writing: you would he put up with his father's
will be consulted on who gets to torture to get to Michigan to have
wear the jersey. a shot at his dream?
According to the Detroit Free So when Stan is asked, which
Press, Carr and Braylon had set of the three current Michigan
up requirements for the jersey: wide receivers - Roy Roundtree,
no freshmen, a suitable GPA and Junior Hemingway or Darryl
appropriate off-the-field con- Stonum - deserves to wear the
duct. number his boy worked so hard
That day, Braylon had been to earn, he doesn't mince his
touring ESPN when he was noti- words.
fied of the No. 1 jersey mistake "When you talk about the guys
and he was caught revealing his who wore the No. 1 jersey, they
true emotion during an online had superior skill level - supe-
chat: "I am already mad that Rich rior," Stan says. "And they had o
Rod gave the No.1 jerseyto some- tremendous work ethic. They N
one other than (a) wide receiver, were game changers. So I don't
which is breaking tradition," think that question's for me. I
Braylon wrote. don't think it's for Braylon. I don't
John Falk, the man who has think it's for coach Hoke.
handled the No. 1 jersey since Bo "What David Terrell, Bray-
was coaching, said that "it wasn't Ion Edwards, Anthony Carter,
Rich's fault." It was no one's fault, Derrick Alexander, did - none
really, he says. of those guys - nobody had to
Falk said that because of the wonder: 'Haveyou done enough to w
limited amount of jerseys avail- wear that jersey?'
able to the team, it was available "It spoke for itself." 0
Read why everyone thought he
disgraced the No.1 jersey.
THE FIFTH SECTION IS
ONLINE AT MICHIGANDAILY.COM
& 121 FootbaitdaturdaySeptember 3, 2011