Graham: 'Everything has Changed'

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Wakefield wide receiver T.J. Graham was a star at the recent Jamestown Shrine Bowl Combine, and a new school is now heavily in the mix.

The son of track guru Trevor Graham, T.J. ripped off 4.30 and 4.36 runs in the 40-yard dash, and he stood out in the other events as well. At 6-0, 166 pounds, Graham also notched an impressive 35-inch vertical and had seven reps of 185 pounds on the bench press with a sub-4.4 shuttle time.

With the Evaluation Period under way, the coach Graham is most familiar with was recently at Wakefield and now his recruitment has changed.

"Chuck Amato came up here from Florida State," T.J. Graham told Pack Pride. "Everything has changed now. I like Chuck, and I've liked Florida State.

"I didn't want to say anything because it is kind of far away. Everything has flip-flopped. They are #1 now."

Amato spent seven years at NC State as head coach, and Graham had ties to the program through his father. Trevor Graham often used the NC State track facilities to train his athletes and he developed a relationship with the football staff.

T.J. started to attend NC State football combines, and last year he was offered a scholarship by Amato and his staff.

"I just like Chuck," he said. "I know he's not going to lie to me. I've known him for about eight years, and he has never lied to me. I know I can trust him. He said they need true speed down there, and he told me about what they are missing. I think he came to get me.

"Everything has changed now."

"Florida State hasn't offered yet. They have to see some tapes, so we're getting that together. If they offer, I'll make my decision from there."

Outside of the recent interest from the Seminoles, Graham's recruitment hasn't changed. He plans on attending a few camps, but his combine season is likely finished.

"It's still the same schools," he said. "[NC] State, [North] Carolina, Duke, Virginia, and Colorado. I'm going to probably camp at Virginia, go down to Florida State, and then State and Carolina.

"I was suppose to go to the Combine and the Adidas Camp, but I have track meets those weekends so I won't be able to go."

His previous leader, NC State, has yet to extend an offer.

"I want to get to know the coaching staff better," said Graham. "It's close to home, and I know my parents would like that, but I don't know the coaching staff as well as I did the previous coaching staff."

Look for Graham to impact this season on the gridiron. Last year, his athleticism couldn't translate over to the football field as Wakefield struggled finding a quarterback to get him the football. Graham even had to play some quarterback for Wakefield.

He ended the season with 12 catches for 242 yards for two touchdowns in eight games. He also threw for another 128 yards and rushed for 118 yards. New head coach Chip Williams has already discussed with Graham how he plans to use him in 2007.

"I feel like they are going to use me a lot on offense," said Graham. "If coach Williams needs me somewhere else I can play it, but for now I'm going to play wide receiver.

"I'd even play some defense... probably safety. I never played defense because we would already have those spots filled, but I would play it. I wouldn't mind that at all."

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