Senior Stars All About Team

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Mike Granger
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Mike Granger
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 13, 2013

By Mary Ashton Nall Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

When one became an All-American, the other clinched back-to-back SEC titles.

When one competed in the USA Outdoor Championships, the other became the high point scorer at the SEC Championships.

As if they didn't already do everything in pairs, when Mike Granger tore his ACL to sideline him for his senior season, Ricky Robertson also missed his outdoor season due to groin and sports hernia injuries.

After redshirting in 2012, the fifth-year senior track & field standouts are back for a final season with the Ole Miss Rebels in 2013 after a year of surgeries and rehabilitation.

"Mike jinxed me to redshirt," Robertson said.

"It's meant to be," said Granger. "We came in together and we'll leave together."

Despite their injuries, these roommates are no strangers to the big stage. In their three years of competing for the Rebels, they are already among the most decorated.

A Hickory, Miss., native, Granger is a four-time All-American, three times in the indoor 60-meter dash and once in the outdoor 100 meters. His career is highlighted by a second-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships and a 2010 USA Junior Championships title in the 100. Granger has had four top-five finishes in the sprints at the SEC Championships. He has also appeared at the 2010 World Junior Championships (gold medal on the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team), 2011 USA Championships and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Robertson, from Hernando, Miss., holds six Southeastern Conference titles in the men's high jump. He has also received All-America honors seven times, twice as the runner-up in the high jump at NCAAs. In 2012, he won the Cliff Harper Trophy for highest point scorer at the SEC indoor meet with top finishes in the high jump, long jump and triple jump events. Later that year, Robertson broke his own school record with a jump of 7-7.25 that ranks him among the top 10 high jumpers in NCAA history. The mark was the top jump in the world at the time.

Although neither athlete has yet to claim an individual NCAA title, the Mississippi natives agree that their goals for the upcoming season are team-oriented. They were not able to contribute to the men's school-record eighth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last year, which left them hungry for even more team accomplishments.

"It's important to compete together and win as a team," Granger said. "I want to win a national championship as a team more than I would ever want to have an individual title."

Second-year head coach Brian O'Neal says the talented duo has sacrificed a lot for the team, and he's glad they are back for another shot at representing Ole Miss.

"They are team-oriented guys," O'Neal said. "They do it for the team and for the love of the Red and Blue, and that's what makes them special."

As fifth-year seniors, Granger and Robertson are the oldest members of the men's track & field team. The Rebels signed a large recruiting class last February, and O'Neal says the senior leadership is crucial for the team this year.

"For the upcoming season, our team needs to continue its momentum from last year and it helps to have senior leadership from Mike and Ricky, along with their experience and commitment to excellence on the track," O'Neal explained.

Granger knows the importance of being a role model and the power he holds as a senior.

"As a sprinter, experience is everything. With me being the oldest sprinter on the team, I know the younger teammates are watching me," Granger said. "I need to go hard at practice every day and let them know how to prepare for the tough conference we are in."

Both Granger and Robertson plan to chase a professional track & field career after college, but they say they will forever be grateful for their experience at Ole Miss.

"Coach O'Neal always tells us to be gentlemen and women first, scholars second, and then athletes," Robertson said. "I can use that throughout my life, even when I'm finished competing."

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Volleyball Opens Steven McRoberts Era

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Volleyball

      Here are three pieces to keep in mind as we look ahead to the Ole Miss volleyball team's season-opening weekend in Buffalo, New York, starting with Canisius on Friday morning, the first of four matches over three days at the... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1

      Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 1 (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Dome, Sweet Dome for Atlanta Area Rebels

      Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - Football

      For high school football players in Georgia, all roads lead to the Georgia Dome and the state championships.  For a handful of Rebels, those roads lead home, as Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Forward Together Construction Update

      Monday, August 25, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • Relentless is the Word on Defense

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Football

      ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy asked each of the 65 coaches from the Power Five conferences to describe their team in one word.  Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's word? Relentless. The same can be said of the Ole Miss defense.  And... read more

    • McCormick, Defense Shine in Win

      Sunday, August 24, 2014 - Soccer

      After playing 110 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Georgia on Friday night, Ole Miss responded with a gutsy 1-0 win over Iowa State on Sunday afternoon. The defense, led by senior goalkeeper Kelly McCormick was the story of the... read more

    • Rebels Battle to Draw on Historic Night

      Friday, August 22, 2014 -

      Big time crowd for @SECNetwork live sports event debut. Record attendance of 1,823 for @OleMissSoccer Let's finish strong.-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 23, 2014 Ole Miss kicked off the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, rallying to a 1-1 draw with... read more

    • Kiffin Pleased with Defensive Line Progress

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Football

      Like defensive coordinator Dave Wommack, defensive line coach Chris Kiffin has been pleased with his players throughout fall camp, particularly the depth bolstered by the return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and the addition of sophomore Fadol Brown and... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Volleyball Day One

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Volleyball

      THE SEASON: Volleyball - Day One from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Kick-Off Season on National Stage

      Friday, August 22, 2014 - Soccer

      Three things from Ole Miss soccer head coach Matt Mott, previewing the season opener against Georgia on Friday night. Rebels Look to Take Next Step Ole Miss made history this past season, not only setting a school record for wins,... read more

    • Nkemdiche Headlines Retooled D-Line

      Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Football

      The return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and additions of sophomore Fadol Brown and freshman Marquis Haynes have changed the face of the defensive line, but freshman All-American Robert Nkemdiche remains front and center.  With a season of experience... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Sneak Peak

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football 2014: Episode 1 Sneak Peak from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wallace: 'It's My Offense'

      Monday, August 18, 2014 - Football

      The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more

    • VIDEO: We Are Ole Miss

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Athletics

      We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football: Fins Up (Part 2)

      Saturday, August 16, 2014 - Football

      In case you missed it, Fins Up (Part 1) from last year:... read more