In March, Graham Glasgow was in the middle of his final spring camp as a Michigan offensive lineman. He had started the Wolverines’ last 11 games in 2014, after being suspended for the first following an arrest for driving while intoxicated that summer.
But Glasgow served his suspension and hadn’t violated his probation, which was set for one year.
Then things changed again. Jim Harbaugh replaced former coach Brady Hoke, who had given Glasgow a second chance last fall. And Glasgow violated his probation by failing a breathalyzer test, earning him his second suspension.
Glasgow was a fifth-year senior with a brother (Ryan, a redshirt junior defensive tackle) already on the team and another (Jordan, a freshman safety) on the way. He was in position for a starting spot this season. And all of it appeared to be in jeopardy.
It was Harbaugh’s decision. According to Glasgow, the two sat down three or four times the week after Glasgow violated his probation.
“We kind of came together,” Glasgow said. “He didn’t really tell me that I had to really do anything. It was more along the lines of, ‘How do you think we should do this together?’ ”
Harbaugh chose to reinstate Glasgow, and now, almost seven months later, Glasgow has become the team’s most consistent offensive lineman at center.
And that hasn’t been his only improvement.
“Over the past four years of playing football, over the past few years of off-the-field stuff, I would say I’ve just grown a lot as a person,” Glasgow said. “I’ve grown a lot as a man, and I’ve really just matured. I just try to do everything the right way.
“I can’t afford to do anything the wrong way. I just need to make sure I’m doing the right things at all times. It’s just not having an option. It’s either I do what I need to do, or I’d be out of here.”
With his back up against the wall, Glasgow has worked things out and made his way back into his spot on the offensive line, proving himself to a new coaching staff.
Harbaugh doesn’t accept any excuses — and in this case, the off-the-field issues were no exception. He kept Glasgow accountable for his actions.
“He’s tough on me, but he understands,” Glasgow said. “He’s dealt with me in a way that I feel like a dad would deal with this issue. It’s really helped me out a lot.”
Now, Glasgow has bigger goals in mind. He plays on a much-improved offensive line that has been a key to Michigan’s success this year. He faces a tough test Saturday as No. 18 Michigan takes on No. 13 Northwestern. And after all, he’s the eldest of three Glasgows on the team — and by extension, he’s expected to be a leader.
“When I first came here, I didn’t think Ryan would come here to begin with,” Glasgow said. “It was really just my goal to earn a scholarship and play. When I was 19, I didn’t think that they would be like this. You just put in the work every day, and it sort of just happens. You gotta have the goals to make it happen, but it’s just a stepping stone. You want to earn a scholarship and be a starter, and then what’s the next goal? And the next goal?”