Oakville's Graham looks impressive
By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
The use of the word impressive might be an understatement when referring to Dan Graham, a senior at Oakville Senior High School.
At 6 foot, 3 inches and a chiseled 220 pounds, the inside linebacker/fullback could put many of Michelangelo's works of art to shame.
Yet it's not his physical being that has drawn the interest from several Division I colleges throughout the Midwest.
"Dan's a really good player," Oakville Head Coach Jerry Maulin told the Call. "He's physically superior to most players and he has great speed."
Two impressive stats about Graham is that in the weight room, he can bench press 325 pounds and squat the team's maximum of 400 pounds for 10 repetitions.
Another impressive stat that breaks the stereotype of football players is that he carries a grade-point average that's better than 3.0.
Graham also is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"I really hope to have a good senior season and be able to block good for Reggie (Ward)," Graham told the Call. "I hope that our team does well too."
One of the things that Graham is looking forward to this season is that with the move from tight end to fullback, he'll have the unique opportunity of dropping the hammer on his opponents.
"I'm really looking forward to that," Graham said. "It ought to be a lot of fun."
The Tigers' head coach is looking to incorporate the senior captain into the team's offense even more this season.
Maulin hopes that the use of a wide variety of offensive sets will give the Tigers a different dimension when moving the ball downfield.
With Graham's experience as a tight end last season in which he racked up 243 yards receiving with three touchdowns, the senior is poised to have an impressive season for the Tigers.
"We'll have different formations where hopefully we can get the ball to him a lot this season," Maulin said. "He should complement Reggie really well."
Graham also plays on the Oakville basketball team on which he starts as the team's center. He averaged 3.6 points and five rebounds per game last season.
He also had 25 assists and 12 steals along with four blocked shots. Yet his striving nature to excel at whatever he does is quite apparent when talking about the upcoming 2003 season.
"I expected that I would have done a little bit better last year," Graham said. "I think that we were young last year and we'll have a lot of returning players, so I think we'll do pretty good this season."
Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Arkansas are just a few of many schools that are beginning to take a good look at Graham.
Maulin believes that Graham's size and speed could put him at a variety of positions at the collegiate level.
"Dan has such a great work ethic," Maulin said. "I think that he could be a defensive end, linebacker or even a tight end at the college level."
Graham and the Tigers open the 2003 season at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, as they play host to Parkway North.