Graham Offered by Dad's School

Wheaton (Ill.) North quarterback Taylor Graham has added an offer from Ohio State, where his father played, and the lone uncommitted quarterback with a UCLA offer talks about what that means to him and how it affects his recruitment...

Taylor Graham, the 6-foot-4, 211-pound three-star quarterback from Wheaton North High School in Wheaton, Ill., just got offered by Ohio State on June 18, as previously reported, bringing his total offer count to eight.

"I grew up following Ohio State," Graham said. "I was born in the Ohio State hospital and my dad (Kent Graham) went there. But I don't think those things will matter. I'm trying to keep things pretty open."

Graham, ranked as the No. 75 quarterback in the country by, attended the Buckeyes camp last Sunday (June 14). "I did well at the camp and I knew they were interested," he said. "They told me to call them back this week and yesterday when I called I talked with coach Jim Tressel and he told me that I had a full-scholarship offer to go there.

"It would definitely be fun to play for Ohio State," Graham said. "Coach Tressel is an awesome coach and they always seem to be in the running for a national championship. Plus, I think it would be fun to be part of the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry."

While Graham's review of the Buckeyes is glowing, he insists he's far from being a lock for them. "I have eight offers and none of them have any negatives," he said. "It's tough. I've been to a lot of schools already and really liked them all."

Although Graham still denies a leader, he said he favors Ohio State, UCLA, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin and says he's already visited all five. All of them have offered as well as Arkansas, Colorado and Duke.

A few days before the Buckeyes camp, Graham was at Michigan State for the Spartan's one-day camp. "It was a lot of fun," he said. "I liked talking to the coaches and show them what I can do. They says that I'd fit their offense really well because I'm a pro-style quarterback.

"I also really liked the facilities," he said. "They have a brand new football office and I like how everything is close by and easy to get around."

Besides Ohio State and Michigan State, Graham also attended the UCLA camp. "That was my first time in California," he said.

"The campus really impressed me," Graham said. "It was actually a little smaller than I thought it would be, but that's fine. I just always thought that UCLA was this huge place. They play at the Rose Bowl and have like 94,000 people at their games, but I guess those are just the L.A. fans."

So did Graham experience any culture shock during his first trip to the West Coast? "Not really," he said. "Really the only difference was that it was like 70 degrees in California, but otherwise I don't think there are much differences. UCLA is a big-time program just like Ohio State and Michigan State and they are all pretty similar."

But will the distance be an issue? "Well, I don't think my parents would love it if I went all the way to California but they said they'd support me wherever I go.

"For me it doesn't make a difference if I'm driving three hours to get home or flying five hours," he said. "During the season I won't have much off-time anyway and I really just plan on focusing on football."

The first school to offer Graham was Iowa and he attended the Hawkeyes' Junior Day as well as their game against Purdue last fall. "Iowa has a great atmosphere," he said.

"The stadium is really loud and it's a fun place," he said. "It was a little cold (during the Purdue) game but it was still fun. I love how the Hawkeye fans are always behind them."

Graham also had a chance to attend Wisconsin's final home game against Cal-Poly last season as well. "The fans at Wisconsin go crazy," he said. "I loved being at Camp Randall. It's an amazing stadium.

"Madison is a real nice city too," Graham said. "It's a good college town and a lot of fun. I heard great things about it and it definitely exceeded my expectations."

Graham says he isn't sure if he'll be visiting any other schools this summer. "I don't have anything planned right now," he said. "Notre Dame is still recruiting me a lot and I need to see if they want me to come up there and if they plan on offering."

He says the Irish would be in the thick of things if they offered.

"I want to make sure I find the best offense for me," Graham said. "I want to play where I fit in and where they utilize my skills as a pro-style quarterback. I also need to feel comfortable there on and off the field."

Graham will likely make a decision before the start of his senior season. "My goal is to get the process over with before my senior year," he said.

"My goal is to win a state championship this year because I've never won one," he said. "We have a good team and I think we should surprise some people next season."

Graham broke his left ankle in the fifth game of his junior season and finished with 950 yards passing for six touchdowns and one interception through those five games.

He had surgery following the injury and had three screws placed in his ankle. After missing the beginning of his school's basketball season rehabbing the ankle, Graham says he's now 100-percent.

"I don't like evaluating myself," he said. "But I think I'm a good leader. I've also got a pretty strong arm.

"I've been told that I have good mechanics and am smart with the ball," he said.

"I'm still working on getting stronger and just learning the game more," he said. "I want to understand everything that's going on, on the field. I also want to read the defenses better."

He says he can bench 230-pounds.

Graham plans on majoring in business and reports a 4.8 (out of 5.0) core GPA and a 27 ACT.

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