Sherrod Graham never was one to stand on the sidelines. His athletic life was all about action.
Then, on the first play of the opening game in his junior season, he crumbled to the ground. A torn ACL required surgery that kept him off of the field for the rest of the year.
"It was really difficult watching the games," Graham said. "That was really the first time I ever stood on the sideline watching a football game. It was tough."
Doctors medically cleared the Indianapolis North Central High linebacker at the end of February. He's returned to the field in 7-on-7 competition this spring.
"I'm at 100 percent," he said.
College scouts are watching.
"They want to see if I'm still able to move like I could my sophomore year and hit like I could," the 6-foot, 225-pound Graham said. "They also want to see if I can cover, which I can."
Iowa is among the schools keeping tabs on Graham.
"I've been in contact with Eric Johnson on Facebook and I spoke to Coach (LeVar) Woods," Graham said. "They said the same thing. They said they were still in an evaluating period. They said it was tough to evaluate me because I didn't play at all last season."
The Hawkeye coaches said they'd like to watch his first two games this season and have him visit for a game, Graham said.
"I think they were in (my school) one day (recently) but I was in class the day they came in so I wasn't able to talk to them," Graham said.
Graham, who is awaiting his first scholarship offer, reports hearing from Ohio State, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Michigan State, Indiana, Purdue, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisville, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Ball State, Akron, Toledo, and Missouri. He plans to camp at Ohio State, Louisville and Purdue this summer and participate in a combine in Columbus as well.
"It's a huge motivation," Graham said of his recruitment dropping off after his injury. "I'm not saying I'm being disrespected, I just feel like they've forgotten how I played before the injury and what I can do."
"I haven't been to Iowa yet," he said. "I want to get there during the season."
Graham said he plans to major in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management when he gets to college.
"I'ver been cooking for a really long time," he said.
Now, he's looking for his recruitment to heat up.