Graham Talks After His Official Visit

Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado's Keenan Graham, the #5-ranked defensive end prospect in the nation who verbally committed to UCLA last week, talked about his official visit to UCLA last weekend, and he told us how he feels about his commitment after his visit...

Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado defensive end Keenan Graham (6-4, 220) took his fourth, and final, official visit this past weekend, visiting UCLA, the school he had committed to just days before.

The visit to Westwood sealed the deal for Graham.

"It definitely confirmed that UCLA was the place for me," said Graham. "I had no intentions of changing my mind and I'm more excited about everything now. It was a great trip and I was just as impressed this time as I was the first time I visited. It was great, too, because my mom got to go out and she loved it. That was the most important thing, that my mom liked it. The main thing she is worried about is the academics, and she can't say enough about them there."

Graham was hosted by freshman running back Milton Knox, and Graham said getting to know Knox and several other players and recruits was one of the highlights for him.

"Milton, he was my host and he is just a really cool guy," said Graham. "It was cool getting to know him and the other players, talking to them about the program because I always have fun doing that. I also met (commits) Jayson Allmond, Richard Brehaut, Sheldon Price and Ricky Marvray."

The conversations Graham had with the other commits was another highlight. "Talking with the guys who've committed, they all feel like the program is on the rise and we have a chance to do something big," said Graham. "I hope that's the case because we want to bring it up to the level that UCLA should be at. Right after I committed, like all the other commits called me or texted me. It was really cool. We were all talking about how our seasons were going and they were surprised that my season was already over. But it was really cool getting to know them and they are definitely guys I could see myself with for the next five years."

Graham was the lone official visitor in Westwood this past weekend, so he got plenty of attention from the coaching staff. "I talked to Coach (Todd) Howard a lot and I met with all of the coaches and I had dinner with Coach Howard and Coach (Tim) Hauck," said Graham. "They said they see me coming off the edge and that I have a good opportunity to play early. I want to work hard and I want to compare to other great players there."

One player that Graham had been compared to by the coaching staff was former UCLA All-American defensive end Bruce Davis, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Coach (Rick) Neuheisel compared me to him even before I committed," said Graham. "I heard that a lot actually and I am honored to be compared to him. It's great to know that."

Defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker also spent some time with Graham, his highest profile recruit in this class. "Coach Walker let me know how excited he was for me to come in," said Graham. "We spent a lot of time talking."

Being the Bruins' highest-rated defensive commit is something that Graham was flattered by and says he hopes he lives up to the expectations that come with it. "I look to live up to it and I want to work hard to get there and perform," said Graham. "I still want to improve, though. I want to work hard and work on my speed and those are my intentions. I'm glad they hold me at a high level. I think I perform well under pressure."

Having played his final high school game the last weekend in October, Graham had time to reflect. "I thought about how hard I had come since freshman football and while our season ended different than we wanted to, it's been a great time. And I'm excited about the future," said Graham.

That future will include one more game before he suits up in the blue and gold. "I was invited to the Offense-Defense All-American Game and I was very excited to get invited to that. My coaches told me to make sure to ask the UCLA coaches so I hope it's fine with them. But that was a goal for me, to play in one of those games, so I'm excited."


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