Lineman Lends A Hand to Flood Victims

Offensive line prospect Graham Shuler, who is getting plenty of attention from college scouts, took time out from sports and school to help flood victims in his community.

Brentwood, Tenn.--Graham Shuler, who is expected to be one of the top football prospects in the state of Tennessee for the 2012 signee class, has been concerned about more than just high school classes and sports the past couple of weeks.

Living in suburban Nashville, an area hit hard by major flooding, the big offensive lineman says he is thankful that his family escaped from harm after seeing first hand the kind of damage that took place a short distance from his home and school.

"Me and one of my teammates, Al Thompson, who's going to be somebody to watch at receiver, went out this past weekend and helped some people over in Bellevue, which is about five minutes away from my house," Shuler says. "We went in there with a team of about 10 guys or so, some of my dad's friends, and the houses were just absolutely destroyed and we worked on a couple of houses.

"One house that we worked on belongs to an elderly lady, who is probably 90 years old, or at least in her high 80s," the Brentwood Academy offensive lineman says. "The water line in her house was about seven feet. It was terrible. The refrigerator was up on the counter, there were shelves that had towels and stuff on them that were six feet up in the air and drenched a week after the flood.

"It was just terrible, but it was an eye-opening experience and I was happy to be able to help someone," says Shuler, who will be a junior this fall at Brentwood. "There were so many people out there contributing," he notes.

"The whole area has been affected by this flood. It was good that we were able to make the best out of it. We completely cleared out her house, furniture, clothes, walls, tiles, floors, everything and that took about three hours. After that then we did a couple other projects over there so it was really cool to be able to go over there and do that."

Graham Shuler (center, in blue shirt) sorts through flood damage.

Shuler points out that he is just 16 years old so he doesn't have the perspective to compare the floods in his town to other disasters, but he notes that he believes what hit Nashville was a disaster.

"I think the flood kind of it kind of helped our community to know how to react to this kind of thing better," he says. "It was crazy what happened seeing the waterline at seven feet in someone's house. You would be standing in your own house and you would be underwater."

Shuler says he liked what he saw from others in the area trying to help their neighbors and other people they didn't know. "There are tons and tons of houses in the flooded area," he notes. "The police were having to block off the area to keep people from coming to help because it was causing too much traffic. Just seeing that response and everything was really eye-opening to see how incredibly everyone has come together."

Things are coming together for Shuler as he wraps up the school year. He is currently competing in the shot put and discus for the Brentwood Academy football team while also going through spring football drills.

"I have heard from Virginia and have talked to Georgia a lot more recently," he notes. "I am still talking to Auburn and Vanderbilt." He notes that he is hearing from Tennessee and a variety of other colleges that have been stopping by his school.

Once they get to Brentwood, Shuler would hard to miss. "I'm pushing six-foot-five and I have put on quite a bit of weight," he says. "I would say I am about 258 to 260 now."

Since his football season ended, Shuler says the players "have been hitting it pretty hard" in the weight room. He recently benched 225 pounds 12 reps.

Shuler says he hasn't decided if he is going to any football camps or combines this summer."I'm still talking about it and trying to figure out what would be the best for me to do, but I'm thinking about heading down to the Georgia camp or the Auburn camp this summer so I'll probably do one of those, but that is probably it. I'm going to keep it pretty limited just because I have a pretty busy summer."

The offensive lineman visited Auburn in April to check out the Tigers' spring football game. "I get something in the mail from Auburn once a week so I hear from them quite a bit and I love the coaches down there,"?he says.

Commenting on Auburn's A-Day scrimmage, he says. "It was a great game. I talked to the coaches and they said it'd be vanilla, vanilla, vanilla, but watching Cam (quarterback Cameron Newton) play and some of those guys it was exciting."

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