Boys Varsity Football
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Brandon Folsom, Port Huron Times Herald Published 12:16 p.m. ET Oct. 2, 2019 | Updated 1:14 p.m. ET Oct. 2, 2019
Michigan football commit Braiden McGregor receives Under Armour All-America Game jersey
Brandon Folsom, Port Huron Times Herald
Published 12:16 p.m. ET Oct. 2, 2019 | Updated 1:14 p.m. ET Oct. 2, 2019
The Huskies and Under Armour surprised McGregor during Friday's pep rally.
Friday wasn't the typical homecoming pep rally for the Port Huron Northern football team.
During the festivities, the Huskies surprised senior Braiden McGregor by presenting him with his Under Armour All-America Game uniform.
McGregor is a four-star defensive end committed to play for Michigan.
He'll be one of more than 100 players who will compete in the 13th annual All-America all-star game slated for Thursday, Jan. 2, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida (6 p.m., ESPN2).
Over the years, the exhibition has featured two eventual Heisman Trophy winners, 23 NFL Pro Bowlers and 56 NFL first-round draft picks.
"It's awesome for our town, school and community," Northern coach Larry Roelens said Tuesday evening. "It's one of those things no one can ever take away from Braiden. He earned this and deserves this."
Roelens, who's in his fifth year as the head coach of the Huskies, remembers once hearing about a freshman who was pretty good at playing hockey.
Now McGregor is ranked No. 26 in the ESPN 300 rankings of the top seniors in the country. He's ranked No. 1 among athletes who can play multiple positions.
"I just knew we had a big kid who was also a pretty athletic kid," Roelens said. "We had an idea of who he was when we brought him up to varsity his freshman year for our playoff run. He only saw limited time, but we knew he was athletic."
McGregor became a full-time starter for the Huskies as a sophomore. Things started to click for him one year later.
"As a junior, he kept hitting the weight room," Roelens said. "With his athleticism and size, colleges started looking at what he could do, and that's all she wrote from there.
"He's deserving of this, for all he's put into it, for sure."
The Huskies are 4-1 and visit Fraser for a Macomb Area Conference-Blue matchup this Friday. They need two wins to qualify for the Division 2 playoffs for the fourth straight season and three league victories to repeat as Blue champions.
Roelens said McGregor's success as one of the top players in the nation has inspired his locker room.
"What it does is help other kids and keep them working harder," the coach said. "The school is coming around, and we're winning football games. We're getting accolades as a team.
"If someone from Port Huron can (get an invitation to play in the All-America Game), other players will think, 'Why can't I get in, too?' This honor will provide our kids with an extra spark in the weight room in the winter and summertime. It'll keep us going toward our goals."