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Brandon Minor
American football player in white, yellow and blue uniform runs from the outstretched arms of a player in a red and grey uniform.
Minor eludes James Laurinaitis during the 2008 Michigan – Ohio State rivalry game
Michigan WolverinesNo. 4
Running back Senior
Date of birth: July 24, 1988 (1988-07-24) (age 21)
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career history
High school: Varina High School
Bowl games
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Brandon Ricardo Minor (July 24, 1988) is an American football running back who has completed his senior season in 2009 for the Michigan Wolverines football team. He has finished second on the team in rushing as a freshman and a sophomore and led the team in rushing as a junior and a senior.[1][2][3][4] As a junior, he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference selection by the coaches.[5] He had previously been ranked as the number one high school football fullback in the nation, according to

He spent his first two years at Michigan serving as one of the primary backups to Mike Hart. In his third year, he emerged from a field of five runners who were vying to replace Hart, including two true freshmen, as the leading rusher and scorer. He has shared starting responsibilities in his junior and senior seasons. He entered his senior season on the watch lists for the Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award. ranked him as the 22nd best player and 3rd best running back in the Big Ten Conference before the season started.


Youth career

Minor grew up as a Michigan Wolverines fan. His mother, Julie Gilliam, has pictures of him at age six wearing a Michigan uniform. At age nine, Minor wrote the university to inquire about becoming a Michigan football player. Every year he and his mother watched the Michigan - Ohio State game and rooted for Michigan.[6]


High school

Minor inherited the starting varsity team role as a sophomore in 2003,[7] and he gained 209 rushing yards in his first start.[8] That season, he helped his team reach the Virginia Central Region, Division 6 championship (the qualifying game for the Virginia High School League state semifinals).[9] He concluded the regular season as an All-District first-team selection and after the playoffs was selected as a second-team all-region choice.[10][11] During the season he rushed for 1,750 yards and 22 touchdowns for the 10–2 (7–0) Varina Blue Devils.[12] Minor also played varsity basketball as a sophomore.[13] During the season, he once made seven three-point field goals in a game.[14]

As a junior, when Varina's former Capital District offensive player of the year Army Spc. Clarence Adams III died serving the 91st Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, Iraq, Minor gave up his number 3 to wear Adams' #33 as a tribute.[15] In the District championship game, he rushed for 239 yards on 27 carries, including four touchdown runs.[16] In the subsequent Central Region, Division 6 semifinals, he set a Central Region playoff record by rushing for 296 yards, but his undefeated top-ranked team was upset.[17] He concluded the season as both a first-team all-district and all-Metro Region selection after compiling 2,091 yards rushing and scoring 32 rushing touchdowns (plus 2 receiving touchdowns).[18][19][20] He was also selected to the Group AAA Virginia High School Football Coaches Association all-state second-team by the coaches.[21]

Entering his senior season, he was ranked as the sixth best senior football player in Virginia by[22] The Roanoke Times described him as "one of the top five recruits in the state" at the time of his August 2005 visit to see the first day of Virginia Tech Hokies football practice. At the time, he was considering Miami, Michigan, Florida, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, LSU and Ohio State.[23] However, he started the season on crutches, due to a torn hip flexor.[24] He returned to the lineup for the team's final regular season game and rushed for 174 yards on 28 carries.[25] Davon Morgan, his cousin, who now plays strong safety for Virginia Tech, was the team's quarterback.[26][27] Despite missing most of the season, he was still honored as an all-district and all-region selection.[28][29][30] His three-year career totals were 4,259 yards and 64 touchdowns.[31] As a graduating senior he was the number one ranked high school football fullback in the nation, according to[32] Following his senior season, he scored the only touchdown in the East-West Virginia High School Coaches Association All-star game.[33]

Name Hometown High School Height Weight 40 Commit date
Brandon Minor
Richmond, Virginia Varina (VA) 6′0″ 211.5 4.75 January 23, 2006 
Scout:4 stars.svg   Rivals:4 stars.svg   ESPN grade: 78
Overall Recruiting Rankings: Scout - 29 (RB)   Rivals - 109, 1 (FB), 10 (VA)  ESPN - 34 (RB)
† Weight is in pounds
Note: In many cases, Scout and Rivals may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
In these cases, an average of the two was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100 point scale.
"Michigan Football Commitments". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
"2006 Michigan Football Commits". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
"ESPN". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
" Team Recruiting Rankings". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
"2006 Team Ranking". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  

College career

Minor on Fan Day 2008

Lloyd Carr era

In January 2006, Minor selected the University of Michigan.[31] Although he did not enroll in the 2006 Summer semester, he reported to Michigan on June 16 for strength and conditioning training.[34] Minor and fellow freshman Carlos Brown were behind three returning running backs (Mike Hart, Kevin Grady and senior Jerome Jackson) on the depth chart entering the season.[35] Minor was considered the less heralded than Brown,[36] who was regarded as the fastest player on the team.[37] On opening day, only Hart and Grady had more carries than Minor,[38] in part because Jackson, who entered his senior season with 505 career rushing yards, did not dress.[39] In his first carry as a Wolverine, he rushed for 24 yards against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the September 2 season opening game.[5][39] Nonetheless, the depth chart was not very clear behind Hart.[39] By late September, Minor was clearly third on the depth chart and it seemed that Brown might be redshirted.[40] When Hart left the game due to injury against Michigan State on October 7, Minor scored his first touchdown on a 40-yard run.[41] He had his first 100-yard game on November 4, when he rushed for 108 yards on 12 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run in a 34–26 win against Ball State.[42][43] As true freshman member of the 2006 Michigan Wolverines football team, Minor rushed for a total of 238 yards on 42 carries,[44] which was second on the team to Hart.[5]

During April 2007, Grady tore his anterior cruciate ligament and was lost for the season.[45] In August, Brown broke his hand.[46] It appeared Minor was seriously injured on October 13 when he was carted off the field and left the stadium wearing a protective boot on crutches.[47][48] However, he recovered and for the next two weeks he and Brown combined to replace the injured Hart.[49] He had his second 100-yard game and first 150-yard game on October 27 of that season during the 34–10 Little Brown Jug game victory against the Minnesota Golden Gophers when he rushed for 157 yards on 21 carries, including a 46-yard run and one touchdown.[50][51] Although Hart returned to play in the Paul Bunyan Trophy game against Michigan State on November 3, he left the game early and Minor started the second half.[52] Hart missed the next game on November 10, but Brown and Minor had poor performances.[53][54] In all three of Hart's full game absences, Brown was the starter.[55] As a sophomore on the 2007 Michigan Wolverines football team, Minor improved his rushing totals to 385 yards on 90 carries,[44] which was again second on the team to Hart.[5]

Rich Rodriguez era

American football player in white, yellow and blue uniform prepares to hand the football to a teammate.
Nick Sheridan hands off to Minor during the 2008 Michigan – Ohio State rivalry game.

In 2008 Rich Rodriguez replaced Lloyd Carr as head coach.[56] In the spring, Brown broke his finger weightlifting and Grady was still trying to get healthy.[57] In early August, it appeared that juniors Brown and Minor would vie for the starting job because fourth-year junior Grady was under suspension related to driving while intoxicated charges.[58][59] However, in camp it became apparent very quickly that true freshmen Sam McGuffie and Michael Shaw, would have a significant role in the newly-installed spread option offense.[60][61] With both Brown and Minor nursing injuries,[62] McGuffie was tentatively penciled into the starting position on the depth chart.[63]

As a junior member of the 2008 Michigan Wolverines football team, Minor became the team leader in rushing.[5] However, he only started four games, while McGuffie started 6, Brown started 1 and Shaw started 1.[64] McGuffie was the starter until he lost the job to Minor.[65] Minor gave way to Shaw (November 8) and Brown (November 15) as the starter due to his injuries.[66] Minor totalled 533 yards on 103 carries. He had nine rushing touchdowns and added two as a receiver. Of these eleven touchdowns, seven came in a three week span that included a 117-yard two-touchdown rushing effort against Penn State on October 18 and a 155-yard three-touchdown rushing effort against Purdue on November 1. Sandwiched between these efforts, Minor scored on a 19-yard reception to compliment his 55 yards and a rushing touchdown in the Paul Bunyan Trophy game against Michigan State on October 25.[67] The Penn State game was Minor's first career start.[68] During Minor's junior year, he played with a wrist injury that impaired his ability to hold the football with his right arm and his ability to stiffarm opponents.[69] He was impaired by a variety of injuries throughout the season.[70] At the conclusion of the 2008 Big Ten Conference football season, Minor was chosen as an honorable mention all-conference selection by the coaches.[71]

McGuffie transferred to the Rice Owls after the season.[72] As a senior member of the 2009 Michigan Wolverines football team, Minor was named to a pair of watch lists: (Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award).[73][74] He was also selected by ESPN as the 22nd best player and 3rd best running back (behind Evan Royster and John Clay) in the Big Ten Conference before the season started.[75][76] Minor missed the first game of the season due to a high ankle sprain. In the second game, which was the 2009 Michigan – Notre Dame rivalry game, he rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries during the 38–34 victory over Notre Dame.[77][78] The ankle sprain hampered him much of the season and caused him to miss the October 17 game against Delaware State.[79][80] He had a season-high 154-yard, 3-touchdown effort against Purdue on November 7.[77][81] A shoulder injury kept him out of the last game of the season against Ohio State.[82] Over the course of his collegiate career, he accumulated 20 rushing touchdowns and 1,658 yards.[44]


  1. ^ "Michigan Wolverines Statistics - 2006". Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  2. ^ "Michigan Wolverines Statistics - 2007". Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  3. ^ "Michigan Wolverines Statistics - 2008". Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  4. ^ "Michigan Wolverines Statistics - 2009". Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  5. ^ a b c d e "Brandon Minor profile". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  6. ^ Markon, John (2006-11-16). "Field of Dream - Former Varina star Minor fulfills childhood hope as Michigan back". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  7. ^ Lewis, Stephen and Tim Pearrell (2003-08-29). "Capital District". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  8. ^ Utley, Arthur (2003-09-12). "A Devil Of A Time Expected At Varina". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  9. ^ Utley, Arthur (2003-11-29). "Lewis, Defense Key Bird's Victory - Skyhawks Show They Belong As They Reach The State Semifinals". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  10. ^ "All-District Teams". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2003-11-27. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  11. ^ "All-Region Football Teams". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2003-12-18. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  12. ^ Lewis, Stephen and Arthur Utley (2004-09-03). "Capital District". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  13. ^ Lewis, Stephen M., Tim Pearrell and Arthur Utley (2004-02-05). "Prep Notes". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  14. ^ Utley, Arthur (2004-09-23). "Brandon Minor-Varina Football". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  15. ^ Utley, Arthur (2004-09-10). "Former Varina Star Adams Will Be Honored By Devils". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  16. ^ Utley, Arthur (2004-11-13). "Mud Master - Varina RB Minor Churns Out 239 Yards, Four TDs In Victory". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  17. ^ Lewis, Stephen (2004-11-20). "Bird Stuns Varina - Top-Ranked Devils Sunk After Late Stop, TD Pass To Grayson". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  18. ^ "All-District Teams". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2004-11-25. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  19. ^ "All-Region Football Teams - Central Region". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2004-12-09. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  20. ^ "All-Metro Football - For The Offense .*.*.". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2004-12-23. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  21. ^ "Harris Named State's Top Player - Springer Star Joins 109 Central Players On Coaches' All-State Team". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2005-01-28. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  22. ^ Harris, Mike (2005-08-04). "Virginia Tech Notes". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  23. ^ King, Randy (2005-08-06). "Beamer High On The Hokies After 1st Day". Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  24. ^ Bradshaw, Weldon (2005-09-10). "Varina Doesn't Dwell On Loss - With Minor Hurting, Other Players Make Major Contributions". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  25. ^ Lewis, Stephen M. (2005-11-12). "Springers Tast Reward After Risk - Two-Point Conversion In Second OT Stuns Blue Devils". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  26. ^ Jeter, Fred (2005-12-02). "For Morgan, Motivation's At A Premium Blue Devils Junior Saw Chance For Big Year Dissolve Prematurely". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  27. ^ "Davon Morgan #2 S". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  28. ^ "All-Region Football Central Region". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2005-12-08. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  29. ^ "All-District Football Teams". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2005-11-24. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  30. ^ "Meet The Players". Richmond Times-Dispatch. 2005-12-20. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  31. ^ a b Lewis, Stephen M. (2006-01-21). "Varina's Minor picks Michigan". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  32. ^ "Brandon Minor". Yahoo! Inc.. Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  33. ^ Jordan, Jason (2006-07-15). "VHSCA Football: Forward Focus". Daily Press. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  34. ^ Pearrell, Tim (2006-07-15). "Top recruits absent from all-star game - Schools offer aid for summer school, pulling players away". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  35. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (2006-08-29). "Carr is grounded more in offense - He expects running game to improve this season with a healthy Hart, talented backups.". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  36. ^ "Some positions still up for grabs - Unsettled spots on defense are strong safety, cornerback, weakside LB and end". Ann Arbor News. 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  37. ^ Becker, Bob (2006-09-12). "Fire up the mouse, it's time for Notre Dame-Michigan - Here's your pick: Click on the Wolverines". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  38. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (2006-09-05). "Carr balances running backs - Coach says rule change means fewer plays and opportunities for Hart's backups to get on field.". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  39. ^ a b c "Who's gonna back up Mike Hart? - Grady, Minor, Jackson battle for carries". Ann Arbor News. 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  40. ^ "New!:Manningham earns back-to-back Big Ten honors". The Oakland Press. 2006-09-25. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  41. ^ Singer, Matt (2006-10-09). "Michigan backs boast confidence, talent". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  42. ^ "Brandon Minor #4 RB: Game Log 2006". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  43. ^ "Ball State 26, Michigan 34". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  44. ^ a b c "Brandon Minor #4 RB: Profile". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  45. ^ Snyder, Mark (2007-04-13). "Michigan's Grady tears ACL". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  46. ^ Snyder, Mark (2007-08-15). "U-M taliback suffers broken hand in practice". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  47. ^ "Michigan RB Mike Hart injured in first half against Purdue". Associated Press. 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  48. ^ Fenno, Nathan (2007-10-14). "Hart's status for Illinois unknown". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  49. ^ Bigelow, Pete (2007-10-28). "Backup tailbacks stand out - Brown, Minor wear down Gophers with career bests in rushing yards". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  50. ^ "Brandon Minor #4 RB: Game Log 2007". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  51. ^ "Minnesota 10, Michigan 34". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  52. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. and Dave Dye (2007-11-04). "Hart plays with pain - U-M running back forced to leave game with ankle injury, but he did damage before going.". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  53. ^ Pitts, Antoine (2007-11-11). "With Hart out, ground game never gets going". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  54. ^ "Michigan 21, Wisconsin 37". 2009-11-10. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  55. ^ "2007 Football Team". The Regents of the University of Michigan/Bentley Historical Library. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  56. ^ Snyder, Mark (2008-03-16). "Wolverine pain! Rich Rodriguez opens practice tough". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  57. ^ Bell, Scott (2008-03-24). "Running back Carlos Brown suffers broken finger". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  58. ^ Snyder, Mark (2008-08-05). "Brief: Kevin Grady practices despite recent legal troubles". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  59. ^ Heuser, John (2008-08-10). "Tailbacks excited about chance to replace Hart". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  60. ^ Vardon, Joe (2008-08-13). "Shaw, McGuffie Michigan gems - Freshmen fit well in spread-option". The Blade. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  61. ^ Heuser, John (2008-08-13). "Walk-on players intrigue Rodriguez - He intends to add more, says bigger roster creates more competitive and openness". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  62. ^ Heuser, John (2008-08-19). "U-M flips over freshman backs - McGuffie, Shaw have been impressive so far in preseason camp". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  63. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (2008-08-26). "U-M's Rodriguez: Starters not determined at QB, RB". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  64. ^ "2008 Football Team". The Regents of the University of Michigan/Bentley Historical Library. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2009-09-21.  
  65. ^ Heuser, John (2008-11-18). "Ailing Minor wants to play - Bad shoulder kept him out of game vs. N'western". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved 2009-09-23.  
  66. ^ Rosenberg, Michael (2008-11-15). "Michigan sets single-season futility mark in falling to Northwestern". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-23.  
  67. ^ "Brandon Minor #4 RB: Game Log 2008". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  68. ^ Sharp, Drew (2008-10-18). "No solace for Michigan in almost avoiding rout". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-23.  
  69. ^ Maisel, Ivan (2009-05-06). "Minor ready to stiff-arm opponents in '09: Wrist injury held Michigan's Minor back last season". Retrieved 2009-09-17.  
  70. ^ Sipple, George (2008-11-17). "Brief: U-M's Minor 'playing regardless,' but Threet, McGuffie likely out vs. OSU". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-09-23.  
  71. ^ "Big Ten Announces 2008 Football All-Conference Teams And Individual Honors: Iowa's Green Named Offensive Player of the Year, Ohio State's Laurinaitis repeats as Defensive Player of the Year.". CBS Interactive. 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  72. ^ Reid, Andy (2009-08-04). "Loss of McGuffie won't doom Michigan running backs". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  73. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (2009-08-05). "Doak Walker watch list snubs Penn State's Royster". Retrieved 2009-09-29.  
  74. ^ "Big Ten Football Weekly Release September 7, 2009". Big Ten Conference. 2009-09-07. Retrieved 2009-09-29.  
  75. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (2009-05-14). "Ranking the Big Ten: Brandon Minor, No. 22". Retrieved 2009-11-17.  
  76. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (2009-05-14). "Ranking the Big Ten: Arrelious Benn, No. 1". Retrieved 2009-11-18.  
  77. ^ a b "Brandon Minor #4 RB: Game Log 2009". Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  78. ^ "(18) Notre Dame 34, Michigan 38". 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  79. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (2009-10-08). "Tailback Minor finally is getting healthy". The Detroit News. p. 2C. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  80. ^ Snyder, Mark (2009-10-18). "Grady brothers score a place in Michigan history with TDs". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  81. ^ "Purdue 38, Michigan 36". 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  
  82. ^ Chengelis, Angelique S. (2009-11-19). "Michigan RB Brandon Minor doubtful for Ohio State game". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  

See also

External links


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