Regional Recruiting: Braiden McGregor is a rare big time football recruit from Port Huron area; Notre Dame tops the list of scholarship offers
Port Huron – Coach Larry Roelens and his staff at Port Huron Northern have turned the program around recently.
Starting from 2003 and continuing on through 2014 Northern had two winning seasons and made the playoffs once (2010). Roelens, a 2004 graduate of Port Huron High, took over the program in 2015 and the Huskies went 4-5. The next season Northern made the playoffs for just the fourth time and last season the Huskies finished 9-2 highlighted by a 13-7 victory over Roseville in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs. That victory doubled the number of playoff victories in school history.
The most recent indication that this program is on the rise took place on April 9 when sophomore Braiden McGregor, a 6-5, 230-pound end and linebacker received a scholarship offer from Notre Dame. Other schools that have offered McGregor a scholarship are Central Michigan, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan.
If McGregor played for one of the marquee programs in the Detroit Public School League, like Cass Tech and King, or at Southfield for the Arts and Technology where many football players receive scholarship offers from some of the country’s top collegiate programs, this would not be an unusual occurrence.
But in Port Huron, it’s big deal. Three members of the Chapman family, brothers Jarrett and Mark, and cousin, Winslow, played at Port Huron before going on to Central Michigan.
Notre Dame, and Purdue, for that matter, is a significant step up.
“This is cool,” Roelens said. “All of us are new to this. I’ve sent kids to Division II schools before but not to schools like Notre Dame.
“Aside from his physical size, he’s a humble kid. I wish I had 60 like him. He’s all yes sir, no sir. He comes from a great family and has all of the attributes that you’d want.”
One can assume this is just the beginning for McGregor. Scholarship offers from other top programs are sure to be headed his way.
He was one of eight sophomores to start for Roelens last season and with six starters returning on both sides the Huskies are expected to be even more competitive in 2018. Northern, a member of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division the last four seasons, will move up to the Blue, a division it competed in before (2008-13).
As a freshman, McGregor was brought for the one playoff game and last season he played tight end in Northern’s double tight end sets. It was on defense where he excelled. Roelens used him at defensive end and linebacker. Roelens said he expects McGregor to be one of his top receivers this season in addition to his role on defense.