Graham: More to Think About

The #5-ranked defensive end in the nation, Keenan Graham from Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado, is taking official visits and getting deluged by elite programs from around the country. He had UCLA leading for him at one point, so has anything changed?

Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado defensive end Keenan Graham (6-4, 220), the top-ranked prospect in Nevada and the top defensive end in the west, just got back from his third official visit, this one to Colorado.

"Colorado was really nice, I had a great time there," Graham said. "The area is definitely a place I can see myself living for four years. I really liked the campus and the area around it. That was my first time out there, and I got to really enjoy it."

Graham had previously visited Nebraska and Wisconsin, and said the trip to Boulder was different than those two. "The stadium wasn't as big, but the fans were really into it. We were right in the heart of the student section and the fans were loud the whole time. That part was cool," said Graham.

Graham was hosted by receiver Marques Simas. He also had some good conversations with the coaches. He said: "Coach (Romeo) Bandison and Coach (Andy) Avalos were the ones I spent most of my time talking with but I also talked to Coach (Dan) Hawkins. They were telling me that with my ability and with their situation on the defensive line, I could come in and possibly play really early. That's definitely something I'm taking into consideration and that sounded good to me."

With three visits already taken, Graham is planning to take two more: "I'm supposed to be going to USC on December 13th, but I might have to reschedule that because Virginia Tech wants me to come out the same weekend, and that one is a little harder to schedule. But I'll be visiting both Virginia Tech and USC."

USC has been coming on strong of late for Graham, who says he talks with defensive coordinator Nick Holt weekly. And Virginia Tech has been on Graham for most of the year. "They have both told me they really want me to come in and visit and see the schools, so I'm going to do that after my season," said Graham.

Noticeably absent from that list is UCLA, one of the schools that had led for Graham for much of his recruitment. But he said it's much ado about nothing. "Oh no, I still like UCLA a lot and they're one of my top schools still. What happened was when I went out there for an unofficial visit, I got a full tour of the campus and it was almost like an official visit, because I got to see everything. All of these other schools, I've never seen before so I wanted to take an official visit to them. What I'm going to do is take another unofficial visit to UCLA because it's easy to get to and meet with the coaches then. I'm going to do that before I make my decision. I talk to Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and Coach (Todd) Howard every week and they keep telling me how much they need me."

So with the Bruins still in the mix for Graham, he has a top six, the five he's visiting or visited -- Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado, Virginia Tech and USC -- plus UCLA.

With all that consider, Graham has some idea when he could make a decision. "I'm probably going to decide sometime in January after I've taken all of my trips," he said. "I don't really have a favorite right now, I'm just trying to keep all of my options open with the schools I'm interested in."

Through seven games of his senior year, Graham has 67 tackles and eight sacks, despite being double- and triple-teamed often, and with teams running away from him. During his junior year, Graham had 72 tackles and 13.5 sacks, getting nine sacks in a four-game span.

Academically, Graham is fully qualified.

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