Garrett Graham: Wisconsin’s Tough Guy Tight End



By Paul M. Banks

Wisconsin Badgers Tight End Garrett Graham received probably his best endorsement on Big Ten Media Day. “I’ll never forget, I think it was my first year. He had a routine play coming out of bounds where he got tangled up in some chains and he came and had a huge three-inch cut where his arm was hanging open with muscle exposed.

He went inside and had it stitched up and was playing a quarter later. They originally told me he wasn’t going to play at all. That kind of gives a little synopsis of what he’s all about,” said Badgers Head Coach in describing Graham.graham

This past off-season Graham exercised his option with the National Football League advisory board to see how his draft stock was doing. Heading into this senior year, he looks like a 4th-5th rounder. Graham knows what he has to do to improve his stock. “I can fine-tune my route-running and my techniques in blocking: stuff like footwork, hand and (helmet) placement. Like everyone else, I want consistency,” Graham said.

Despite missing two games from injury last season, he still led Wisconsin in receiving; with 40 catches for 540 yards and 5 TDs. He made a big leap in production from ’07 to ’08, and of he makes a similar leap this fall, he could likely hear his name called on the NFL Draft’s first day. He’s been working hard with the Badgers conditioning program, which includes a varied program on Fridays, consisting of lifting heavy objects and flipping truck tires. So if Graham continues working out like the guys you see late night on ESPN2 in the “World’s Strongest Man” competitions perhaps he could be the next Tony Gonzalez or Jay Novacek.

“I’m really excited for Garrett to come into his own. Kind of embodies all the things we like about Wisconsin. Just developed year-end, red-shirted he came in and began to make noise a little bit a year ago. I think he is really set for a special season,” Bielema stated. And the media thinks so as well, as he’s a 2009 preseason first team All-Big Ten selection by Athlon and Lindy’s. Last year he was an all-conference first team selection by the media and a second team choice from the coaches.

Graham’s drive to succeed comes from his idolization of perhaps the most competitive person in history. When asked at Media Day, if he could have dinner with anyone of his choice he said “Michael Jordan, because he’s such a great athlete and just to hear what he has to say, I know he can be quite inspirational,” Graham responded. So indeed he wants to “be like Mike.” Graham has had plenty of praise already, but he certainly as his eyes set on something more.

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  1. paulmbanks says

    He was a far from interesting interview subject. Although myabe that wasnt all his fault. the goofy idiot from the big ten network with her stupid off base questions probably threw him off and wasted my precious time with him at media day

  2. No, it wasn’t just you… a more appropriate title for this piece would have been “Garrett Graham: a Terrible, Boring, Useless Sound Bite”…

  3. Were her questions anything like “What’s it like being a tight end?” or “Why is your number 89 and not 47?”

    He is a beast though and much more durable than Travis Beckum, who apparently needed color coding to figure out the team playbook.

  4. Melissa W. says

    In a sea of Cardinal red that can at times be quite mediocre, at least Graham will give us something to watch. He’s boring in person, but there are far more boring players on the field at Camp Randall….

  5. Jake Fowler says

    The same boringness he is criticized for off the field is the same one-mindedness that has allowed him to go from being red-shirted his freshman to being an NFL 1st day player now. I appreciate his focus and believe his humbleness and level-headedness don’t allow him to be outgoing with the media. He is actually a prankster in the comfort of his home and can be found lurking around corners with an airsoft gun, shooting innocent bystanders, as i can attest

  6. paulmbanks says

    Yes, but he’s still BORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRINGGGGGGGGGGG!!!! But Travis Beckum was just as bad, if not worse as a sound bite!

  7. paulmbanks says

    Her questions were “can you do an impression of Coach Bielema” And “what’s your earliest football memory?” then she wasted all of our time by making him do some retarded Big ten network holiday greeting thing, and it took like 20 takes

  8. Add Matthew Shaughanessey (sp?) to the All-Badger bad bite team… nice guys, just not great interviews…

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