Pearlie Graves Talks About OSU's Offer

Pearlie Graves is one of the best defensive line prospects in the state of Oklahoma. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive tackle from Tulsa (East Central), Okla., received a surprise Tuesday when Oklahoma State defensive line coach Glenn Spencer called with a scholarship offer. Graves spoke with GoPokes.com on Tuesday evening about the offer.

Question: I understand one of Oklahoma State's coaches called today. Is that correct?
Graves: Yes sir. Coach (Glenn) Spencer called and told me that I have an offer on the way in the mail. He let me know that they want me to commit to them right now.

Question: Are you excited about the offer from Oklahoma State?
Graves: Oh, yes sir. What really excites me is that I'd be really close to home. It's not often that you get a full-ride scholarship offer from a school like OSU. That's a really good opportunity.

Question: What other schools have offered you a scholarship?
Graves: I've gotten offers from OU, Texas Tech, K-State ... all of them are good schools, every last one of them. It's going to be a hard decision to make, picking one from the top four.

Question: Are you expecting any other offers?
Graves: Michigan is supposed to be sending me a written offer. I haven't received it in the mail yet, but they have told me that I will be receiving an offer in the mail.

Question: Have you been recruited by any other schools?
Graves: I've talked to LSU, New Mexico and I talked to Texas for a little bit.

Question: How soon do you hope to make a decision? Do you plan to wait until after your senior season?
Graves: I'd like to have a decision by playoff time (in early November). I'd like to have a decision when we're entering the first week of the playoffs. If I don't commit then it will probably be sometime around basketball or track season.

Question: Pearlie, for people outside of the Tulsa area who haven't seen you play, describe yourself as a player on the football field.
Graves: People tell me that my speed is just unbelievable. They say that for my size you cannot believe that I have the type of speed that I have. I'm quick off the ball. I notice things quick.

Question: What's your speed in the 40?
Graves: I run a 4.9.

Question: What do you weigh?
Graves: I did that time at 255 but I'm at 265 right now.

Question: You attended Tulsa Central High for two years before transferring to East Central, so you are getting ready to begin your second season for head coach Travis Hill, correct?
Graves: Yes, that's right. I went to Tulsa Central for two football seasons and am getting ready to start my second season at East Central.

Question: Did you play on the varsity team at Tulsa Central?
Graves: I started as a freshman.

Question: You started for two seasons (20 games) at Tulsa Central. How soon did you break into the starting lineup last season as a junior at East Central?
Graves: I didn't start early in the season. I think I began starting in about the fourth game (of East Central's 12-1 season a year ago). It took me a little time to learn the technique and learn my assignments.

Question: Where does the name Pearlie come from?
Graves: It's a family name. It's my grandfather's name and I had two uncles named Pearlie.

Question: Pearlie, what else do I need to know?
Graves: I took my ACT and scored a 17 on my first try. They told me that my 17 would probably allow me to qualify. My GPA right now is a 2.5 overall, and I need to work on that some. I told them I can do it. It's just going to take some work, and I'm going to do everything I can to get it up there.

Question: You mentioned earlier that one thing that excites you about the Oklahoma State offer is that it's close to home. You're the oldest of five children, correct?
Graves: In my house, my mom has eight kids. There are five girls and there are three boys.

Question: How important is it to you that you'd be close to home?
Graves: It's not a problem going far but I'd rather be close to home. If Michigan is the only offer that I end up with, I will go. But right now I want to be close to my mother.

Question: As the oldest of eight kids in the home, do you have some responsibilities that other high school seniors probably don't?
Graves: I was raised by my mom. I didn't have a man, a father figure, in my life, so I look up to all of my coaches (at East Central). My coaches are my father figures. My coaches really look out for me, and if I ever need anything they are just a phone call away. Coach Hill is just like a real father to me. I feel like I can go down (to his office), sit down with him and talk about anything or any problem.

Question: What will it mean to you, and to your mother, for you to receive a full, athletic scholarship?
Graves: That would mean a lot. I can see my mom crying right now because she'd be so relieved that she wouldn't have to pay for my college.

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