Graham Set For Early Tuesday Annoucement

Arkansas is hoping to get good news early Tuesday morning when Wachula, Fla., Hardee linebacker Derrick Graham (6-4, 220) announces his choice between finalists Arkansas, Mississippi State and Florida.

Arkansas will find out on Tuesday if it will land one of its top linebacker prospects.

Wachula, Fla., Hardee standout Derrick Graham (6-4, 220) will announce his decision at 7:30 a.m. Central time via a teleconference with media.

Graham, who has 22 offers, will choose from Arkansas, Mississippi State and Florida after also considering Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Kentucky, Iowa State, Central Florida and others.

Graham and his older brother P.J. took an official visit to Arkansas on September 19-21 as well as numerous unofficial visits to several schools this past summer.

“It’s been a very humbling experience for our family,” noted P.J. Graham on Monday afternoon. “We are all so proud how far Derrick has come from some behavioral issues when he was young to a young man who is going to have the chance to play college football and more importantly get an education.”

He was scheduled to take an official one to Mississippi State last weekend for the No. 1 Bulldogs’ game with the Razorbacks, but postponed that.

Graham and his brother – who has a dual masters in public administration and business administration and works at a neurological institute – took a tour of several schools this summer.

“Derrick called it ‘Two Men In A Car Chasing A Dream’ and I thought that was pretty good,” P.J. Graham said. “I went along with him because I am all about education and I wanted to see that aspect of things and the structure that the schools had in place.

“My brother – while caring about the education system as well – was more about looking into the football program so it was a nice blend for us,” Graham added.

“We liked it because it was a time that you could really see what the school and coaches were all about,” Graham continued. “They were unofficial visits so it was all on my dime, but that was fine because all the schools put out the red carpet on the officials.

“With the unofficial visits, we got to see what it was like when it was just a short time to know we were coming and so it was more realistic to what’s going on there,” Graham said.

Hardee is just 4-5 this season with a 23-18 loss to Desoto County last Friday eliminating the school’s postseason chances.

The Wildcats finished their regular season with a home game against North Point on Friday night.

“Derrick’s a good kid with great athletic ability,” Hardee head coach Buddy Martin said. “He hasn’t had the season he’d hoped for, but the same can be said for our whole team.

“He had a great game last week with several tackles for loss and a sack while playing outside linebacker,” Martin added.

Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon and defensive coordinator Robb Smith have headed up the Razorbacks’ recruitment of Graham, who was actually born in Gainesville, Fla. - home of the Gators.

“He has developed a great relationship with Coach Shannon and Coach Smith at Arkansas,” Martin said. “They have really gone out of their way to help him through the process.”

“I think his best football is ahead of him,” Martin said.





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