Lancaster (TX) defensive tackle John Graves announced his commitment to Texas Tech on Wednesday via a video post on Twitter.
The Red Raiders began recruiting the 6-foot-2, 270-pound defensive lineman back in March, offered him during the open evaluation period in late April and hosted him on an unofficial visit in early June. Graves is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout. Texas Tech is his first Power Five offer.
InsideTheRedRaiders.com caught up with Graves for the scoop on his decision.
Inside the Red Raiders: Can you break down what went into your decision to commit to Tech?
Graves: After talking with my family I just feel it's the best place for me. There's an opportunity to play early there. They have a very good offense and they can score with anybody in the Big 12, but they need defense so I felt like that was the best place for me.
ITRR: You visited a couple weeks ago. Obviously it went well, but can you describe how it went and what made the biggest impression on you?
Graves: I liked being around the coaching staff and when I watched film with coach (Emmett) Jones I saw some of the things I can do, that I can produce so I can get on the field early. That was one of the things I liked the most was hanging with coach Jones. It was him with me, Jaylon (Hutchings) and Cameron (Valentine).
ITRR: I was told you are from Missouri and you moved recently to Lancaster. What's the move been like and how has been living in Texas for you?
Graves: The move was good. I love being in Texas. The game is different, but I love my new team, all my new teammates and playing for my new head coach. The only difference really is just the pace of the game and I had to get adjusted to that. Besides that the whole move has been great.
ITRR: I watched some of your tape, but from your perspective, can you describe your game and what you bring to the table?
Graves: I'm fast off the ball, I use my hands and my hips a lot and just overall explosive. I just make plays.
ITRR: Where does Tech see you playing at the next level?
Graves: I can play end, nose, 3-technique, but Texas Tech sees me as a 3-technique so that's what I'll be playing.
ITRR: Nice. You mentioned coach Jones, he's from the Dallas area, did he lead your recruitment or how much was (defensive line) coach (Terrance) Jamison involved?
Graves: It was a mixture of coach Jones and coach Jamison. I just talk to both of them a lot.
ITRR: What's your impression of them as coaches?
Graves: Everybody on Texas Tech's staff seem like good guys. Coach Jones and Coach Jamison--I could definitely see both as somebody I could look up to the next couple of years and be good leaders.
ITRR: Who did you actually commit to? Which coach did you tell first?
ITRR: What did Jamison say when you told him?
Graves: He was just ecstatic. He was just really happy and hype and glad to get me down there. He's ready to move forward and keep building the relationship between us.
ITRR: Do you have any ties with Texas Tech or any family or ties in this area?
ITRR: When did you first hear from Texas Tech? When did they first start recruiting you?
Graves: About the end of March.
ITRR: Then, what are you working on for your senior season, where do you feel you need to improve?
Graves: I need to make myself more efficient with everything I do. Really the main goal is to bring my high school team a state championship. Right now it's just bringing a state championship to Lancaster High.
ITRR: Every fan always wants to know "how solid is this commitment," so how solid is your commitment to Tech? Do you plan on taking any other visits and just break down that for me.
Graves: As of right now Texas Tech is obviously my top school. I still want to be into my recruitment, but not as much.
ITRR: Who else have you heard from?
Graves: I've heard from Baylor, TCU, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, those are some of the schools in the Big 12 I have heard from.
ITRR: Do you have any message for Texas Tech fans or anything you'd like to end the interview with?
Graves: Texas Tech 22, we're coming soon.
ITRR: Alright, I really appreciate your time and congrats on the commitment.
Graves: Thank you.