Braylon Edwards Questions O’Korn’s Scholarship

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Braylon Edwards
November 18, 2017 John O'Korn of the Michigan Wolverines drops back to pass during a game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Michigan 24-10. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

In the third quarter of Michigan’s loss to Wisconsin, Wisconsin linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel knocked Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters unconscious.  Remaining on the ground for several moments, medical staff eventually carted Peters off the field.  Initial CT scans on Peters at the University of Wisconsin hospital reportedly came back  negative. This eventually led to a prominent former Wolverine publicly questioning O’Korn’s scholarship status.

In his place, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh inserted former starter John O’Korn.  Things unfortunately did not go well for O’Korn. Any momentum the Wolverines had before Peters’ injury evaporated with his departure. O’Korn went two for eight for only 18 yards.  Michigan fell to 5-2 in the conference and 8-3 overall.

Edwards Questions O’Korn Scholarship Status

While O’Korn struggled, former Michigan wide-receiver Braylon Edwards tweeted. “Get Okorn out of there,” he tweeted.” Geez Louise.”  A few minutes later he followed with “Wtf approved his scholarship and transfer?????”  He later deleted both tweets.

For his part, O’Korn responded “Not surprising that those with a history of mistakes LOVE to publicly criticize others so they can stay relevant. Just an observation…”   Some might call this a petty response to Edwards’ unprofessional response.  Many gave O’Korn a pass given his youth and recent ascension to the spotlight.  However, these factors make Edwards’ comments perplexing. He played for the Wolverines and spent nearly a decade in the NFL.  Edwards must understand the pressure O’Korn faces.

Unsurprisingly, this did not sit well with many current Michigan players.  Running back Khalil Hill advised Edwards: “aye, delete this..”.  This reaction is commensurate with the mantra of family and teamwork preached by Harbaugh.  The reaction from the rest of the team should be heartening, not only for O’Korn, but also for the coaching staff and fans, as it shows the kind of camaraderie is a key ingredient for long-term success.

Edwards Tweets His Own Defense

Eventually, Edwards stated that his comments were part of his current job as an analyst. Later saying, he would not start “arguing with young men from my alma mater.”  He is a part-time football analyst for the Big Ten Network.  However, he did not call the game or do any in-studio analysis for that specific game.  Many accused Edwards of passing off his hot take on Peters as thoughtful analysis.

Edwards is certainly entitled to his opinions and can tweet to his heart’s content.  However, there was no analysis in any of those tweets.  Saying otherwise is disingenuous.  Edwards can suggest that Harbaugh should insert a different quarterback.  But implying that O’Korn does not deserve a roster spot is overly personal and harsh.  Not only is O’Korn an amateur athlete, he is also one of the most likable members of this Michigan squad.  He also, by far, is Brandon Peters’ biggest cheerleader since Peters took over the position.  The Wolverines need encouragement and wisdom from Edwards.  What they do not need is a distraction, especially a quarterback controversy started by an alumnus.

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