Indiana adds running back Myles Graham to 2013 class

Myles Graham, a tailback from Chaminade Madonna in Florida. committed to Indiana on Wednesday night to become the sixth member of the 2013 class.

Graham rushed for 852 yards on just 75 carries last season. He picked Indiana over offers from Tulane, Bowling Green and Western Kentucky.

UPDATE: Myles Graham always pictured himself as a Big Ten running back. He might have grown up in Hollywood, Fla. amongst ACC and SEC powers Miami, Florida State and Florida, but with his 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame, he pictured himself on a midwest I-formation team running between the tackles.

“The Big Ten conference always felt like it would be a good fit for me,” Graham said. “Big Ten football fits my style of running. That’s a big thing for me. … I’m a pro-style, down-hill runner. In the Big Ten, that’s what they’re looking for. People who can break tackles.”

Tim Tyrell, the coach at Chaminade-Madonna, knew that full well. The former Youngstown State assistant coach grew up in the same Ohio hometown as Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough. In Graham, he saw a tailback that was much closer to the ones he grew up watching at home than the others he saw in Florida.

“He’s not lying when he says that,” Tyrell said. “The first time I met him, he told me, ‘I’m a Big Ten tailback.’ And that’s exactly what he is. Where I’m from, he would’ve dotted the I.'”

Though IU coach Kevin Wilson’s offense is more spread than I-formation, the Hoosiers will run power from time-to-time and they want a downhill runner regardless. Tyrell said the Hoosiers were lucky to get this one without having to go up against bigger schools.

Tyrell and Graham both said Nebraska and others were interested, but were waiting to see how Graham recovered from a season-ending ankle injury that held him to just eight games last season.

“He would’ve been a 1,500-yard rusher last year if he didn’t get hurt,” Tyrell said. “… I’m from the same hometown as Coach McCullough, and I told him to jump on him early, because once the Nebraskas and other big schools see his first three games this year, they’re going to be all over him. They still will be, but we have a rule at this school that once you commit, you’re committed.He’s going to be a Hoosier.”

18 comments

  1. Really really like this guy! physical, athletic, highly underrated from the tape is saw on youtube (then again that is just my humble opinion). Most impressive is that he is not afraid to get hit, he just keeps running. According to the info on the video, he runs a 4:54 40, benches 305 and squats 435. Combine that with a better weight room at IU and better coaching and this guy has the potential to be a monster!

  2. Yeah, he was a man among boys on that video (11 yards per carry, 22 yards per reception). Looked pretty good.

  3. Surprised he did not get any offers from any other BCS-division schools. That being said, if the stats are correct, he’s way ahead of the curve and will be a great catch for IU.

  4. The reason he didn’t receive much interest could be not attending many camps or playing in a division/league/team that generally hasn’t produced a great deal of D1 talent. Regardless of the fact, he’s a Hoosier now and that’s good enough for me.

  5. Got ahold of Graham and his high school coach today, so there’s some info added that explains the relative lack of recruiting attention. Check the update. Thanks guys.

  6. “They still will be, but we have a rule at this school that once you commit, you’re committed.He’s going to be a Hoosier.”

    That’s the greatest quote I’ve ever heard from a high school coach. Glad someone out there is making these kids be accountable.

  7. Reminds me of Matt Perez’s HS video highlights with the same good balance and quick feet. I suspect he will be bigger and faster. Good work Coach McCullough.

  8. “They still will be, but we have a rule at this school that once you commit, you’re committed.He’s going to be a Hoosier.”

    Let’s hope he abides by the school’s rule and can embrace IU’s rebuilding process over the big name schools that will be trying to poach him.

    I’d really like to see the college football signing day moved up a couple months, say mid-December, after all the High School seasons are finished.

  9. Waiting’s optimistic view of the coach’s statement is more worthy of consieration than worrying about all the others out there waiting ‘to poach’. At some point we have to believe we are one hell of a good school, with one excellent staff and one great and challenging future prospects can enjoy and benefit.

    Until we believe we have something special, we will lack the ‘it’ that makes a winner. And you can’t make a winner worrying about what the other guy is doing.

    Maybe, that’s why KW feels the need to keep repeating “Win Today!” Maybe this is the most timely moment to bring it out. Today!

  10. Hey, I’m on board. He’s a straightforward guy, like most good football coaches and he says indecipherable things, also like like most good football coaches.

    I’ve got a real good feeling about KW. I am sure he’ll get in his share of hot water for saying things like, “Well, I just don’t think Bobby knows how to work hard,” and people will rush to Bobby’s defense.

    I just don’t think KW has much of a filter on what he says but I DO think he’s gonna be on the level with us.

  11. The coaches really wanted him so that is all I need to know. It is also good to find out why his offer list is short. I love his video and agree that he looks like a Big Ten running back. I can’t wait to see him in Bloomington.

  12. Tsao, you make a great point, but verbal commitments are worthless these days and I won’t feel comfortable until he signs the LOI on February 3rd. And we all know the kind of pressure that some of the prominent football programs are going to apply to this young man between now and Feb 3rd.

    Visiting a campus on game day, attending a game where 90,000 (or more) fans are going crazy, being introduced to a half dozen other High School All Americans being recruited, and being shown the school’s National Championship trophies is intoxicating and can go a long way in changing a young man’s mind about the rules his High School coach expects him to abide, especially after his High School football season is over. I mean, what’s his HS coach going to do to him if he changes his commitment in February? Kick him out of school? I don’t think so. In the end, people will do what they perceive to be in there best interest.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about this kid’s commitment and I have great respect for his HS coach’s comments about commitment, but it may also be a bit naive. What worries me most is the lack of attendance at IU football games. A kid comes to Bloomington for a football weekend, he see’s one of the most beautiful campuses in America, he learns about what a great school IU is, he likes the coaching staff and all the new training facilities. Then he goes into Memorial Stadium to watch the game and sees that half the seats are empty. His next visit is to Michigan. The stadium is loaded to the the rafters with over 100,000 people and the noise is so loud you can’t hear yourself think. The difference is profound. That’s why I’ve been saying for years that unless the Hoosier Nation supports the IU football team by going to the games (not just buying tickets, but going into the stadium and cheering), IU football is at a distinct disadvantage in recruiting the best talent.

    Everything else is in place with the exception of fan support and attendance. Putting it another way, IU fan apathy about football is the biggest obstacle IU football has to overcome.

  13. #14–Podunker

    Your post brings up something that’s bugged the cr_p out of me for over 15 years. My wife and I usually get to FB games at least 1 1/2 hours early. We visit with friends and arrive in our seats 30 minutes before the game starts. We have never left our seats until the game is over.

    This is the bugger: At the end of the 3rd quarter, if we are down 21+ points, half of the crowd leaves. If we are up 21+ points, they still leave. Why do they even bother coming to the ballgame? Is it because they don’t enjoy watching FB, only come to tailgate, want to beat traffic, don’t understand/appreciate the effort and work these kids put themselves thru, etc.

    Leaving early regardless of the score is a sign of disrespect towards the team. If you are a fan, it’s a joy to watch them play whether it’s the 1st, 2nd, 3rd team or the stringers. The team needs butts in the seats cheering them on. It’s disheartning for the athletes to look up into the stands and see half of the seats empty.

    Fan support is more than just showing up for part of the game. Fan support is shouting and cheering for all 60 minutes of the game.

  14. One of the things I loved about attending Virginia Tech games is nobody ever seems to leave early no matter what. I loved that.

  15. It’s realistic to expect other schools to come after any decent recruit who gives any other school a verbal.

    It’s realistic to expect such recruit to be swayed by other schools with more storied histories and traditions.

    It’s realistic for such a recruit to expect a better chance to play right away at IU than a lot of other schools. “Son, it’s no secret that IU was pretty lousy last year, and we need a player like you right now. Do you realistically think that you’ll crack the line-up faster at Michigan that you will here?”

  16. davis, I used to help recruit High School football players for IU football. Just a volunteer scout and a tiny little part of the process. Let me tell you, the most talented HS players all have healthy egos (they have to in order to be successful athletes). They want to be told that they have the ability to play on the biggest stage, to be a starter on the most successful teams and to play against the best competition. They dream of being amongst the elite. The coaches that recruit for the big programs are masters at stroking a young man’s ego and convincing him that he will be a contributor and enjoy great success. You might not believe some of the lengths these recruiters will go to get a kid to sign the LOI.

    In the old days, before the NCAA placed a limit on the number of athletic scholarships that any college team could offer, the best football programs, where money was no object, like Alabama and Texas, would use a tactic referred to as “defensive recruiting.” They’d have well over 100 young men on their teams and often offer a good High School player a scholarships just to keep that player from playing for a rival school. The idea was to keep the competition weak and therefore, win by default. Once a part of the powerhouse team, that player might not see the field for three years, if ever, but he was not playing for the competition, so the objective was achieved. It was a win-win for the powerhouse college teams and a loose-loose for many talented players.

    Technically, that tactic no longer exists. But while schools can’t stockpile High School recruits, they can and do reload each recruiting class with four and five-star players. It has been referred as “burn and turn.” Burn em out and turn em over. Look at the turnover of players at the traditional football powers like Alabama, Florida, Auburn, USC, etc. It’s athletic darwinism on display. It’s survival of the fittest. You bring in 20 four and five star recruits every year. You maintain the highest performance standards imaginable, and those that survive are rewarded, while those that can’t stay healthy, follow the rules, or perform up to expectations either quit, transfer or simply drift off into obscurity. But one way or the other, the schools find a way to get them off the team, opening a spot that can be filled by the next High School superstar.

    That’s one reason why the “but you’ll be a starter at IU” has never been a very successful recruiting tactic compared to the traditional power-house football programs.

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