Kraus Follows Michigan Lead


At the NFL level, every player has a significant amount of talent. Each one looks for something that will set him apart from the rest of the pack. Adam Kraus knows this.

"Everybody is at the top of their game," the former Michigan Wolverine said. "As far as that goes, you're playing the best, most talented guys in the world."

The rookie guard signed as a free agent with the Ravens soon after the 2008 NFL draft and is looking to make his mark through hard work, dedication to the game and an unrelenting desire to continually make himself a better player.

Kraus' story starts in New Orleans, La., where he played tight end and offensive tackle at Brother Martin High School. His performance at both positions earned national recognition and drew the eye of recruiters across the country.

In making his college selection, Kraus knew he wanted to leave Louisiana. He also decided getting a quality education ranked high on his priority list.

"When I visited Michigan, everything just fell into place," recalled Kraus. "I fit in there academically and athletically. I think it was the best choice I could have made. I played for a great academic and athletic institution, and that was important to me."

The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Kraus redshirted during the Wolverines' 2003 season and began playing exclusively on the offensive line in 2004. He went on to play in 39 career games, including 35 starts, for Michigan.

Among the highlights during his time wearing the maize and blue, Kraus fondly recalls the opportunity to play under recently-retired head coach Lloyd Carr.

"It wasn't just about football with him," Kraus remembered. "It was about becoming a man, being a man of character and integrity. He's taught me how to live my life. I'm indebted to him for that. He's an unbelievable guy and unbelievable coach."

Kraus, a first-team All-Big Ten performer, also had the chance to make the vast majority of his starts next to his roommate Jake Long, who the Miami Dolphins selected with the No. 1 overall pick in this spring's draft.

"We still talk about everything," Kraus stated. "He's doing well down in Miami, just living his dream. Ever since he was a little kid, he wanted to play in the NFL. Now it's come to fruition. The No. 1 pick overall, it doesn't get much better than that. He's got a lot of pressure on him, but I know the kind of guy he is, and he's going to do great."

After taking the field throughout his college career at the Big House, where attendance figures routinely reached six digits, Kraus is hungry to play in front of an NFL crowd. But the interior lineman first must battle to make the Ravens' 53-man roster.

As he moves from Michigan to Baltimore, Kraus is fortunate to have a familiar face making the same transition. His offensive line coach in college, Andy Moeller, joined the Ravens' staff this offseason as an assistant offensive line coach.

"The amount of football that you have at this level is vastly different than what we had at Michigan," Moeller said, "but he's adjusting to it well and learning. He's a sharp guy making the calls, and he's done a good job for us."

Kraus considered Moeller's presence a strong positive when deciding where he would sign as a free agent.

"I'm just enjoying every minute of it. We had a great relationship in college, and we have a great relationship here," Kraus reflected. "[He taught me to] control what you can control. Your attitude is everything, and you can control that."

Kraus took that lesson to heart. Following last season, he won the Robert P. Ufer Bequest, awarded to the senior who shows the most enthusiasm and love for Michigan, as well as the Paul Schmidt Award, given to the player who displays an unshakeable courage and love for the game.

"Those awards are great and all, but I just come and bring energy and bring excitement to the field every day," Kraus stated. "I think that shows and people appreciate that."

In the coming weeks, Kraus will be attempting to harness all of that zeal as he heads to training camp and competes for one of the 53 highly-coveted spots on the Ravens' roster.

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