Graham "Was Very Impressed"

The 6-4, 225-pound tight end prospect from Scranton, Penn., Hugie Graham, took an official visit to UCLA this last weekend, and his high school coach fills us in on Graham's impression of the trip...

Scranton (Penn.) West Scranton tight end Hubie Graham (6-4, 225) was the first official visitor to come to UCLA this fall, taking his trip to Westwood over the weekend.

"Hubie and I had some conversations about his visit," said West Scranton coach Mike DeAntona. "Hubie had a great trip and he is very interested in UCLA. He went out with a bunch of the players and thought they were really dow-to-earth guys. I'm not sure who his host was but he went out with a bunch of them."

Recruiting Graham for UCLA is linebacker coach Chuck Bullough, who is from the same part of the country as Graham. "Coach Bullough has been in contact since April," said DeAntona. "He is a very good guy and they do a great job of recruiting. He's been in touch quite frequently with me and I think it's a good fit with Coach Bullough and UCLA. They've done a good job keeping me informed on things with Hubie and UCLA."

Graham left following West Scranton's game on Friday night and returned back on Monday, but his father also made the trip, doing it in much quicker fashion. "His dad went out on Saturday and came back on Sunday because he had to get back for work," said DeAntona. "He wanted to see the school as well. Obviously this was their first opportunity to get out to UCLA. But they were very impressed getting out there and taking a look at it."

So with UCLA the farthest of any of the schools Graham is considering, will distance play a factor? "No, he'd go there. We come from a blue-collar town. He wouldn't go out there if he wasn't interested. This definitely reaffirmed that he's not the type of kid, and I'm not the type of coach who's going to send him some place just to send him. After coming back from his official, he really liked it."

This was Graham's second official visit, having previously visited in-state Pittsburgh and also taking an unofficial trip to Rutgers.

Next weekend, he'll head to Iowa and the following weekend he goes to Illinois. In November, Graham is slated for his final official visit, to Georgia Tech the weekend of the 17th.

"He will definitely take all five of his official visits," said DeAntona. "I definitely think they're all even. With Illinois and Georgia Tech, he definitely wants to make those officials."

DeAntona said that this year, Graham has been a major part of the West Scranton offense and he's been very pleased with how he's performed.

"Hubie's having a great year," said DeAntona. "Friday night before he left, he had a huge game, against our archrival, who we've been playing for 65 years. It was on statewide TV and (Pittsburgh) Coach (Dave) Wannstedt was there. Hubie had five catches for 149 yards and a TD. I use Hubie in a lot of different positions. I use him as a traditional tight end, I put him out on the slot, I'll iso him as an X receiver and motion him as a fullback. He can stretch the field because he's an athlete. My philosophy is if he doesn't block, he won't get any balls thrown, so he knows better."

And DeAntona said that even with recruiting, Graham hasn't lost focus on the season. "Hubie is a very mature kid, even though he's only 17," said DeAntona. "His parents and I have done a good job getting him to understand what he's got to get done. That's one of the reasons the family has asked me to divulge his info. He's an Honor Roll student. We want to make sure he's focused on the three most important things: Academics, then our football season and then recruiting."


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