Trieu: Port Huron Northern's McGregor stunned by UM offer

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Port Huron Northern's Braiden McGregor, left, with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

Port Huron Northern sophomore defensive end Braiden McGregor visited Michigan last Saturday and left with a scholarship offer from the Wolverines.

This was the 6-foot-5, 225-pound McGregor’s sixth offer. Recently, Purdue and Notre Dame extended verbal scholarship offers his way.

After growing up in the state of Michigan, McGregor acknowledged that the offer was an important one for him. He also said Michigan would be “tough to beat” but added that he would be open to any other schools which come in.

“(Head coach Jim Harbaugh) was asking how I was doing in school and all of that, and then he just told me, ‘I’d like to give you a full-ride scholarship,’” McGregor said. “I was taken by surprise. I sat there and was like, ‘Seriously? Thank you!’ My mom and dad just looked at me. All my coaches  they had smiles from ear to ear.”

McGregor was pulled up to varsity late in his freshman year and appeared in one playoff game. As a sophomore, he enjoyed a breakout campaign with 98 tackles (18 for loss), three blocked punts and three fumble recoveries.

None of that was surprising to the Northern coaching staff, which had known his talent for quite some time.

“It was obvious early,” Northern assistant coach Brett VanDrew said. “We had been watching him come up the last couple years in middle school and then as a freshman, I knew that when he would play freshman football and then come up and play with us for the last three years. So we saw it the last two or three years prior and knew he was a pretty special kid.”

For all of his physical attributes  the big frame, quickness, weight room strength  McGregor has, it is actually intangibles that come up first when his coaches talk about him.

“He is a really high character kid,” VanDrew said. “He comes from a great family who is supportive and constantly making sure he keeps a level head and understands core values. Because of his stature, kids respect him, but he leads the way. Like I said, he is a high character kid, kids flock to him and want to be around him. That’s what is so great about him is he is supportive, positive, and makes kids around him better.”

That levelheadedness will be important now that McGregor is landing major scholarship offers. VanDrew and the Northern staff knew college attention would come his way, but not to this level this quickly.

“When he took the trip to Michigan, that is a pretty big deal for any kid,” VanDrew said, “and I was taking everything in and watching him and he handled it admirably to this point. He is trying to understanding and process everything and make sure he makes a great decision for both academics and playing football.

"He is not in a super hurry to make a decision. He and his family take a great approach. He will enjoy the process and when he is confident, he will make a great decision.”

McGregor will next visit Michigan State then Ohio State. 247Sports ranks him as the No. 7 sophomore in the state of Michigan.

In-state OL accepts preferred walk-on

Zeeland West offensive lineman Connor Burrows will walk-on at Michigan next season. Burrows (6-2, 280) played left tackle for West and recorded 71 pancake blocks as a senior on his way to All-Conference honors.

He held interest from GLIAC and MIAA schools prior to making his decision. He was a two-year starter and also played defensive tackle.

Wolverines make top five for in-state QB

Walled Lake Western quarterback Sam Johnson named a top five of Michigan, Iowa, Boston College, Syracuse and Missouri. Johnson (6-4, 195) has had a Wolverine offer since Harbaugh saw him throw at his school in the winter.

Johnson plans to make a commitment in May.

More information

Braiden McGregor profile 

Connor Burrows profile 

Sam Johnson profile

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.