Fraser sophomore Anthony Merlo ended up on the wrong side of Braiden McGregor’s highlight-reel moment. And it appeared to hurt.
Early in Friday night’s MAC Blue contest at Fraser, McGregor, a four-star defensive end at Port Huron Northern, plowed over the Ramblers left tackle while chasing a ball carrier. Merlo hit the ground hard and was slow to get up.
“He definitely has more years in the weight room compared to me,” Merlo said after Fraser’s 42-14 loss to the Huskies (5-1, 3-0 Blue). “Being a sophomore and having to go against a guy that’s 17, 18, it was hard.
“That was the first time I felt college-level hand speed. I have to give him credit on that one. I’m definitely going to remember this game.”
Even though McGregor (6-foot-6, 260 pounds) didn’t make a tackle on that play, it did help show just how dominate he can be. Ranked the No. 2 player in the state before the season, McGregor is committed to Michigan football for college.
“I try to get past whoever’s in front of me,” he said. “Putting a guy on his back is beneficial. I let that (attitude) talk for itself.”
McGregor was rarely involved in the play Friday — only because Fraser (0-6, 0-3) avoided him nearly every play.
“We know what he can do; everyone in the (MAC Blue) knows,” Fraser coach Jon Skladanowski said. “We stayed away from him. He’s a very physical, strong player. He’s going to do well at the next level.”
That’s the hope for the Wolverines, who are thin on elite defensive linemen right now. Coach Jim Harbaugh fought off Clemson and Notre Dame — plus a late push by Ohio State and former U-M defensive line coach Greg Mattison — to secure McGregor’s verbal pledge.