Graham Adjusting to New Role

Jamoral Graham was the first high school player of the 2014 Mississippi State signing class to see the field last fall. Making his Bulldog debut as a punt returning, Graham made some early contributions. As the season wore on, Graham mishandled a few attempts and ultimately lost the job as returner to Fred Ross. Undeterred, Graham is working towards contributing in other ways.

Jamoral Graham profile

Graham showed up on a campus a thin, but athletic newcomer. A season later, the former four star has the look of a college football player.

"I am still about 5-11, but I might gain an inch or so," Graham said. "When I got here I was 162. I am up to about 185 now. It's been a big adjustment. I feel I have made my biggest gains in the weight room.

"When I first got here, those boys were all telling me that I was as little as a toothpick. They told me I had to eat and work hard to gain what I needed. Being on the defensive side of the ball now, I needed to get bigger. It's tough, but I'm glad that I was able to do it."

During his freshman campaign, Graham saw the best and worst of the true freshman experience in the SEC. The true sophomore considers those experiences extremely valuable now.

"I never really lost confidence, but I just had to keep my focus," Graham said. "I don't think I was concentrating as much as I should have been. I look at all of that now as a lesson learned. I can't look back now. I am just looking forward and working hard to be the best player that I can be.

"I really wanted to go back out there and handle the punt returns. I was out there for a reason and that was my job. Coach (Dan) Mullen decided that he didn't want me out there and I just went with the flow. Whatever the team needs me to do, then that is what I want to do. I am open to what ever Coach Mullen wants me to do."

Now learning how to play the cornerback position on the college level, Graham is working to get a handle on the skills needed to be successful.

"Coach Mullen said that we were short on corners and he wanted me to give it a try," Graham said. "It's going pretty good so far, but I still have a long way to go. The hardest part about playing corner is covering those guys who really run fast. It's hard sometimes. I am not going to lie. I know that I am a play maker and I am going to make plays to help the team. I love to compete and I am working hard to get better.

"I am learning from the coaches and my teammates and I am watching a lot of film to see what I need to do better."

Graham reports that his relationship with Bulldog cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend is a very good one and that he is eager to learn as much as he can from the NFL veteran.

"Coach Townsend told me that I was a team player," Graham said. "He told me that I was a great athlete, but that I have to be humble. He is always telling me that you can't just come out here and do it. You have to come out with a great work ethic and be ready to work. Nobody ever became great without hard work."

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