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Four years ago, Graham Glasgow and his younger brother Ryan were mainstays as offensive and defensive linemen for Marmion's football team.
A year ago, the Glasgow brothers were reunited at the University of Michigan with Graham appearing in 5 games as a reserve offensive lineman and on special teams for the Wolverines while Ryan spent his freshman season as a redshirt member of the scout team.
Three weeks ago, they donned the famous maize and blue colored winged helmets and emerged from the tunnel at Michigan Stadium as true collegiate teammates for the first time, helping lead the Wolverines to a season-opening 59-9 victory over Central Michigan.
"We've always been on the same team, going back to our days with the Wildcats (youth team) and at Marmion," said Ryan. "It was a great feeling going out on the field (in uniform) again with him."
Both guys certainly can fill out a uniform.
Graham, a redshirt junior (sophomore for eligibility purposes), stands 6-foot-6, weighs 305 pounds and has started the first 3 games at left guard for the Wolverines (3-0) this season.
Meanwhile, Ryan is a 6-4, 300-pound redshirt sophomore (freshman for eligibility purposes) who currently stands second on the depth chart at defensive tackle.
Marmion coach Dan Thorpe remembers one of the first meetings he had with Graham back in 2007 when basketball was his favorite sport.
"I saw him in the hallway his freshman year and asked why he wasn't trying out for football," recalled Thorpe. "He told me, 'I shoot 3s.' I told him, 'that's great but your future is in football.'"
Thorpe convinced him to come out for football and Graham spent the season as a member of the freshman 'B' team. After cracking the starting lineup on the sophomore squad the next season, Graham became a 2-year varsity starter at offensive tackle for the Cadets.
The DeKalb native began getting Division I looks and received scholarship offers from a few FCS (Football Championship Series) schools but decided he'd attend Ohio State on a walk-on basis.
"I was dead set on going there," said Graham.
However, that was before the Buckeyes' football program was rocked by a scandal that led to the resignation of then-head coach Jim Tressel in May of 2010.
"My dad said I should attend either Minnesota or Michigan and I made my choice to go to Michigan as a preferred walk-on," said Graham.
After spending his freshman year lifting weights and working with the scout team, Graham traveled with the team as a sophomore and made his first collegiate appearance last September against Massachusetts.
"It was a good experience," said Graham. "It definitely helped me traveling and learning how everything is handled when we're on the road."
Ryan, a 2-way starter at guard and defensive end who also played basketball at Marmion, decided to follow his brother's footsteps to Michigan where he spent the 2012 campaign as a redshirt freshman.
"I've put on 20 to 25 pounds since my senior year playing basketball," said Ryan.
At Michigan, both Graham and Ryan have senior leaders they can look to for tips and guidance.
Graham plays alongside starting tackle Taylor Lewan, a 6-8, 315-pound fifth-year senior, while Ryan plays behind senior defensive tackle Jibreel Black, who is tied for first on the team in career games played (41).
"I live with Taylor," said Graham. "He helps me out a lot. Playing next to him makes me more confident. Being in the starting lineup is a big change in terms of game preparation. We watch a lot more film and study our opponents' defensive tendencies."
"Jibreel is a very good pass rusher so he has helped me with different moves," said Ryan.
Their collegiate highlight came two weeks ago during the Wolverines' 41-30 nationally televised victory over Notre Dame before a record Michigan Stadium of 115,109.
"The atmosphere was ridiculous," said Ryan. "It was the loudest I've ever heard."
"It definitely was an experience," said Graham. "It was very eye-opening in terms of speed of the game from our opener (vs. Central Michigan)."
With parents Steve and Michelle and Coach Thorpe in attendance last weekend, Graham helped throw the block that led to tailback Fitzgerald Touissaint's game-winning 2-yard touchdown run with 2:49 left as Michigan rallied to beat Akron 28-24 for their 17th consecutive home win — the longest active streak among BCS conference teams.
This week, the Glasgow brothers will prepare for Michigan's first road test of the 2013 campaign Saturday night against Connecticut.
"We go against each other every day at practice," said Graham. "It's great to have him here (at Michigan)."
"It's fun — we compete every day," added Ryan. "I'm really proud of him."
That pride is contagious.
"All of Marmion is very proud of Graham and Ryan," said Thorpe, whose Cadets are also off to a 3-0 start this season. Their younger brother, Jordan, is a senior tailback at Marmion.
"They come from great genes — their parents are both team doctors for Northern Illinois University athletics," added the coach. "And they're great kids. They're two big reasons why we played for the state championship in 2010 — along with the guy (T.J. Lally) who is playing at South Dakota State."
Thorpe relishes the opportunity to watch his former players perform at the major collegiate level.
"We had one of the top defensive tackles in the country when I was coaching back in Ohio," he recalled. "He went on to play at Ohio State and I remember sitting in the stands and just giggling knowing that he was once in our high school weight room."
Today, Thorpe passes along the knowledge to his current players.
"I remind them of the tenacity, fortitude and inner drive to play at the next level that these guys have," he said.
You can reach Craig Brueske can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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