March 31, 2008

Vegas d-end starting to see stock take off

Keenan Graham established himself as one of the top high school football players in the Sagebrush State last fall. And now the interest he is receiving on the recruiting front is starting to reflect that.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound weakside defensive end earned first-team all-state honors after recording 72 tackles and 14 quarterback sacks as a junior.

Graham considers speed his best attribute as a player. He ran a 4.59 electronically timed 40-yard dash at a recent NIKE Combine and he has clocked in at 11.4-seconds in the 100-meter dash during track this spring. He said he typically runs a 4.47-forty when it is hand timed.

"A lot of the colleges that I have talked with have said they want to recruit me for defensive end but they say that they like my versatility, the fact that I could play outside linebacker as well," Graham explained. "They compare me to players like Shawn Merriman and DeMarcus Ware. That made me feel good to draw those type of comparisons."

Graham claims written scholarship offers from UNLV and Vanderbilt along with verbal offers from Colorado, Wisconsin, Utah and Hawaii. He has also drawn strong early interest from Washington and Maryland.

"All of the colleges that have offered have told me that they are going to be sending me the written offer in the mail but the only ones I've received so far are UNLV's and Vanderbilt's," Graham said. "I am still waiting on the other ones. Overall, the recruiting process has been a great experience. It all kind of hit me fast but it has been great.

"I am planning on waiting through the process but I can't completely rule out the possibly that I'll make an early decision. I am willing to go anywhere as of now."

The only school that Graham has been able to visit unofficially is UNLV.

"I took the SAT the morning [of UNLV's Junior Day event] so I missed some of it but I got to see some of their facilities and I thought it was great," he said. "I plan on going to Colorado's Junior Day and their spring game and I am going to attend the UNLV camp this summer and probably Colorado's and maybe UCLA's or any other ones that I can fit in there."

Graham also plans to attend the NIKE Training Camp in Southern California on Sunday, April 20th.

Graham said he has been in contact with defensive graduate assistant Andy Avalos the most from the Buffaloes' staff.

"I know that they have a beautiful campus," Graham said when asked what his impressions are of Colorado. "I can't wait to go and check that out. Colorado is a school that is pretty high up on my list right now."

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