Focus 2005

<B>Madison County </b> just might have one of area's best tight ends in <b>Charlie Graham.</b> Big, fast, strong and athletic, Graham may also see time in the backfield for the Cowboys next season. Graham has already attracted interest from schools such as Nebraska and North Carolina, but guess what? His childhood dream has always been to attend Florida State.

Madison County's Charlie Graham figures playing tight end is the best of both worlds.

"You are in all the action with the big boys -- that's where I want to be, with the boys, blocking," Graham said.

"Plus, you can run routes and have the opportunity to catch some passes."

And, Charlie, how about running over some defensive backs after the catch?

"Yes, you can do that, too," Graham said and laughed.

Graham, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, just might be the area's best tight end. He was recently clocked at 4.7 in the 40 and also is a member of the Cowboys' 4X100 relay team. And, for good measure, Graham also throws the shot put and discus.

"He's a real good athlete with plenty of size," Madison County assistant coach Bo Carroll said.

"And, for as big as he is, he has run real good, too. Charlie has good instincts and good football sense -- he knows what's going on out on the field in terms of knowing what others are doing as well. He's hard to bring down and he's also a solid blocker, so we want to try to take advantage of that next season."

Graham, who also played some defensive line last season, impressed the Madison County coaching staff with his athletic skill.

So much so, in fact, the Cowboys plan to experiment by using Graham in the backfield at the wing-back slot.

Graham, who is yes-sir, no-sir polite, says that's just fine with him.

"Yes sir, I believe I can bring the blocking skills needed for that slot. I can open up the holes for the fullback and halfback, just help pave the way," Graham said.

Graham, who had 10 pass receptions last season as a junior, is also looking forward to helping the Cowboys erase the frustration following last year's state championship defeat to Hollywood Chaminade.

"We have the score up in our weight room," Graham said. "We just had too many missed opportunities in that game."

Graham also doesn't want to miss his opportunity -- he would love nothing more than to play at Florida State if given the chance. Graham has already attracted interest from North Carolina and Nebraska and he also ranks Miami on his list of favorites due to Kellen Winslow.

Graham has a 2.8 grade-point average and he hopes to take the ACT in April.

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