In the spring, three-star athlete Marcus Graham made the trip north and west to visit Wisconsin.
An offer came from the coaching staff, and just days later in early April, Graham called running backs coach John Settle to tell him he was committing to Wisconsin. During that call, the prep standout also spoke with head coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph about his decision.
A pretty quick turnaround, but Graham was ready.
“They were just saying they were excited about me,” Graham told B5Q last Thursday about the offer in April. “They said that they just don’t give offers, and they’re solid on their word. So to me, I just felt like I was ready to make a commitment to them because they were willing to make a commitment to me.”
On his unofficial visit earlier this spring, he visited the football facility and drove around campus. What really stood out to him then, however, was the coaching staff.
“I just really got a family feel there,” Graham said. “I felt like they have my best interests at hand, and I haven’t felt that way at many schools so I knew I was in the right place.”
Listen to Marcus discuss committing to Wisconsin, his abilities and his favorite work out song on last week’s Bucky’s 5th Podcast!
Graham, the Mount Holly, N.C. (Mountain Island Charter), athlete, currently plays quarterback at the high school level and has an intriguing skill set that will translate over to the next level at a different position.
According to MaxPreps.com during this junior year, Graham showcased his abilities through the air and on the ground, passing for 1,270 yards and 16 touchdowns to one interception while completing 61.4 percent of his attempts. Running the ball, he gained 858 yards on 8.3 yards per rush with 15 touchdowns.
Listed at 5’11 and 170 pounds on his Hudl page, Graham said he will most likely play the slot position at wide receiver, though the coaching staff was also looking at him as a defensive back.
“I’ve always grown up an offensive player but at the end of the day, I just play football, so I’ll play either side,” Graham said, who according to MaxPreps.com, also caught 13 receptions for 265 yards and four receiving touchdowns last season.
Graham’s speed and elusiveness could be utilized in a Paul Christ-type offense, traits he believes stands out about his playing-making ability. The North Carolina native told B5Q he ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.
There is also the experience of playing quarterback that will benefit him at the next level.
“When you’re back there at quarterback, you’re not just responsible for yourself, you’re responsible for everybody so you got to know where everybody’s at,” Graham said. “You really get a feel for spacing, and I feel like that’s really going to help me with being a wide receiver. Knowing where the soft cushions are, where the zones are at and where to sit in them, and I feel like that’s really going to help me at the next level.”
Graham will return to Wisconsin for his official visit next weekend starting on June 8, one that’s shaping up to be a reportedly large gathering of verbal commitments including highly-touted quarterback Graham Mertz, offensive linemen Logan Brown, tight end Hayden Rucci among others.