Graves rated one of Mississippi's top OL

Offensive tackle Tyler Graves of Sumrall (Miss.) is one of the state's top offensive line prospects for the Class of 2006.

The 6-6, 280-pounder is exceptionally strong in the weight room with a 330-pound bench press mark to his credit and he squats 450 pounds. Last season, he was named to the Class 3A All-State team and was widely considered the top lineman in his district.

Graves had been flying under the radar for the early part of the recruiting process but all of that changed when he picked up his first scholarship offer from the LSU Tigers.

LSU recruiting coordinator Josh Henson is recruiting Graves and he was the first to tell him of the good news.

"Coach Henson came by school and watched film with my coach and then he asked my coach to tell me to call him because he had something to tell me," said Graves, who projects as a full academic qualifier. "I called him and he said he had a scholarship he was offering me."

Graves has worked hard over the years and anticipated the day when he would hear that good news. The fact that it was from LSU meant something extra special.

"I was very excited and real enthused," he said. "It was my first offer so that was big but to get one from a big-time school like LSU was awesome."

A week after Henson extended the verbal offer, Les Miles went by Sumrall High School to scout Graves in person. From the sound of things the Tigers' headman must have liked what he saw.

"He told my coach he was real excited about me and was real impressed with what he saw," said Graves. "He said they were going to do everything they could to get me."

Graves said he has been to Baton Rouge before but he has not had a chance to see the facilities and everything else associated with the football program. He may not have had the opportunity to see all of the resources that are available to the Tigers but he does know LSU has been very successful over the years.

"I've been there to visit my aunt so I've seen the town and stuff but that is it," he said. "I know they have a solid team that puts a winning product on the field year in and year out. They play well on both sides of the ball. They score a lot of points and do a good job of stopping their opponents."

Graves plans on tripping to LSU this summer for a camp so he will get to see what LSU has to offer first hand. Along with making it to an LSU camp, he also intends to camp at the other schools that have shown the most interest up to now.

"I'm also going to try to get Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Auburn and Vanderbilt," he said.

Once the coaches at those respective programs get to see him in action the bet here is that LSU will not be his only offer any longer. But for now, the Tigers hold the trump card.

"Right now, I'm going to have to say LSU is my leader because they are the only team that has offered me," he said. "They're number one right now."

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