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LB Graham includes Canes in new top 7, setting official visits

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Stefan Adams

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In an effort to narrow down his options, 2022 Stranahan (FL) 3-star LB Omar Graham released a list of his top 10 schools in late February. However, in the past month or so, Graham’s profile has continued to grow, and he put out a new top 7 list today that included Miami, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, and UCF.

“Some new schools came into the picture, so after learning more about them, I became more interested - Michigan, Auburn, and Oregon are the new schools I’m talking to the most,” Graham said about why he cut his list. “All the schools are equal right now, so I’m just going to keep asking questions and doing virtual visits. They all have a lot of tradition and history, and great coaching staffs.”

Assuming the NCAA opens up visits when the dead period ends at the end of May, Graham has already set an official visit date to Auburn for the weekend of June 11th, and is talking with the Wolverines’ staff about setting an official visit for the weekend of June 4th. It’s clear these new programs have given Graham something to think about, as he also recently pushed back his planned decision date as well.

"I’ll decide sometime in the summer," Graham said. "I know I set a commitment date on my birthday (April 16th) but I pushed that back because it’s too soon. With the new programs coming into the picture, I want to learn all about these new programs to make sure I make the right decision.”

Of course, the local Miami Hurricanes have been a program that have been pushing for Graham since January, and the Canes appear to be getting a visit from the Stranahan star soon as well.

“When the dead period opens up, I’m going to try to go for an unofficial on my own,” Graham said of UM. “My dad loves the school, it’s close to home, and I like the culture there, there’s a lot of great players going there. I want to learn more about the program and get closer to the staff.”

Miami’s staff has put the full-court press on Graham lately, as he has heard from various UM defensive coaches like DeMarcus Van Dyke, Jonathan Patke, and Travaris Robinson, as well as head coach Manny Diaz himself.

“I know he’s a defensive guy, so that means a lot, because I play linebacker,” Graham said of Diaz. “I’m feeling like a priority. Not only does my position coach check up on me, but it’s also the corners coach and other people from the staff check up on me.”

While Graham has yet to physically visit UM’s campus, he was able to do multiple virtual tours guided by the Miami coaches.

“Coach Patke gave me a virtual visit when I was out of town for a tournament and coach (David) Cooney showed me around part of the school on FaceTime,” Graham said. “It was nice, he showed me the areas around the campus. I just like the way the campus looks and it’s close to home.”

In terms of factors that will be important to him when making a commitment, the Stranahan star has a well-thought out list of preferences he will be using to evaluate potential suitors.

“I’ll be looking for a great relationship with the coaches, a place where I can feel at home, great academics, a place where they will develop me, and just to be around people I can trust.”

In 5 games played for Mighty Dragons during the 2020 season, Graham posted 38 tackles, 11 TFL, 9 sacks and a FR.


 

grover

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Fast twitch, explosive in the pass rush, flows to the ball really well on run plays. Need to see more in coverage. We're struggling to find LBs that can handle slot/TE/RB receivers.
 

Canes Legacy

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LB recruiting has been abysmal since Shaq and Pinckney. Need to start landing guys that are natural LBs AND have the athleticism to contribute at a high level. We've yet to see what a great LB can do in Manny's scheme (and that's no offense to Shaq and Pinck who were good players here).
 
Joined
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Messages
1
Amen
In an effort to narrow down his options, 2022 Stranahan (FL) 3-star LB Omar Graham released a list of his top 10 schools in late February. However, in the past month or so, Graham’s profile has continued to grow, and he put out a new top 7 list today that included Miami, Auburn, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State, Oregon, and UCF.

“Some new schools came into the picture, so after learning more about them, I became more interested - Michigan, Auburn, and Oregon are the new schools I’m talking to the most,” Graham said about why he cut his list. “All the schools are equal right now, so I’m just going to keep asking questions and doing virtual visits. They all have a lot of tradition and history, and great coaching staffs.”

Assuming the NCAA opens up visits when the dead period ends at the end of May, Graham has already set an official visit date to Auburn for the weekend of June 11th, and is talking with the Wolverines’ staff about setting an official visit for the weekend of June 4th. It’s clear these new programs have given Graham something to think about, as he also recently pushed back his planned decision date as well.

"I’ll decide sometime in the summer," Graham said. "I know I set a commitment date on my birthday (April 16th) but I pushed that back because it’s too soon. With the new programs coming into the picture, I want to learn all about these new programs to make sure I make the right decision.”

Of course, the local Miami Hurricanes have been a program that have been pushing for Graham since January, and the Canes appear to be getting a visit from the Stranahan star soon as well.

“When the dead period opens up, I’m going to try to go for an unofficial on my own,” Graham said of UM. “My dad loves the school, it’s close to home, and I like the culture there, there’s a lot of great players going there. I want to learn more about the program and get closer to the staff.”

Miami’s staff has put the full-court press on Graham lately, as he has heard from various UM defensive coaches like DeMarcus Van Dyke, Jonathan Patke, and Travaris Robinson, as well as head coach Manny Diaz himself.

“I know he’s a defensive guy, so that means a lot, because I play linebacker,” Graham said of Diaz. “I’m feeling like a priority. Not only does my position coach check up on me, but it’s also the corners coach and other people from the staff check up on me.”

While Graham has yet to physically visit UM’s campus, he was able to do multiple virtual tours guided by the Miami coaches.

“Coach Patke gave me a virtual visit when I was out of town for a tournament and coach (David) Cooney showed me around part of the school on FaceTime,” Graham said. “It was nice, he showed me the areas around the campus. I just like the way the campus looks and it’s close to home.”

In terms of factors that will be important to him when making a commitment, the Stranahan star has a well-thought out list of preferences he will be using to evaluate potential suitors.

“I’ll be looking for a great relationship with the coaches, a place where I can feel at home, great academics, a place where they will develop me, and just to be around people I can trust.”

In 5 games played for Mighty Dragons during the 2020 season, Graham posted 38 tackles, 11 TFL, 9 sacks and a FR.


 

grover

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LB recruiting has been abysmal since Shaq and Pinckney. Need to start landing guys that are natural LBs AND have the athleticism to contribute at a high level. We've yet to see what a great LB can do in Manny's scheme (and that's no offense to Shaq and Pinck who were good players here).

I agree. I think this scheme his scheme is harder on the LBs than any other position by far. You need a Top 5-10 type at least. Shaq (#21 LB taken in the 2020 draft) was a great LB, one of my favorite players of all time. Not quite elite. He was a little stiff and slow to cover the ground Manny demands of his LBs. Pinck used to have to sell out to get to the ball, and would often times miss and not be able to recover.

I believe the only LBs on roster today with the necessary athleticism are Huff, Cave and possibly Brooks. Steed would have been quick enough pre-injury, didn't look quite the same last season. Flagg and Jennings are too slow, I fear so are Troutman and Johnson, though I want to see more of them to make an informed opinion.

I personally would move Keontra to LB immediately. Chase is good enough to back up Gil, and we need both Gil and Keontra on the field at the same time. We're wasting his talent as #2 Striker, when he would be our best LB in my opinion.
 

cookies

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Feb 21, 2021
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Denzel is WIDE and looks like he has the force of bowling ball even when he is slowly walking. His arms are massive. Keontra Smith is built more like Duke, with an extra inch or two, than Denzel.
 
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grover

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You guys are missing my point. He doesn't have to be have perfect LB measurables He's got the needed athleticism and the right brains for the role. I always felt Keontra's money position was OLB. According to the official Canes site, he had 115 tackles including 31 TFLs and 8 sacks as a senior. He's listed at 215 lbs and a baller. Just like his partner in crime, Couch, being a couple inches short or a few pounds light versus the prototypical 5 star at the position is irrelevant.
 

gogeta4

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Yes, because of the Al Golden diet.
Yea i remember.lol. That spring after the game I was chopping it up with Thurston Armbrister and Denzel walked up to tlak to the dude next to me who may have been a relative or old coach and he asked how much he weighed..and he said 253...I was like wtf. He wasnt even fat or nothing but i just knew that mfer was too swole lol. He lost weight by the season time though.
 

gogeta4

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You guys are missing my point. He doesn't have to be have perfect LB measurables He's got the needed athleticism and the right brains for the role. I always felt Keontra's money position was OLB. According to the official Canes site, he had 115 tackles including 31 TFLs and 8 sacks as a senior. He's listed at 215 lbs and a baller. Just like his partner in crime, Couch, being a couple inches short or a few pounds light versus the prototypical 5 star at the position is irrelevant.
He's a striker..which is essentially a sam backer. Who cares what he is listed at he is playing the position you actually want him to currently
 

canecrazy23

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You guys are missing my point. He doesn't have to be have perfect LB measurables He's got the needed athleticism and the right brains for the role. I always felt Keontra's money position was OLB. According to the official Canes site, he had 115 tackles including 31 TFLs and 8 sacks as a senior. He's listed at 215 lbs and a baller. Just like his partner in crime, Couch, being a couple inches short or a few pounds light versus the prototypical 5 star at the position is irrelevant.
I mean Zach Thomas didn't have perfect LB measurables and he was a stud.
 

Angry Ibis

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Serious question: can someone explain the nuances of LB spots to the board so we can understand how easily interchangeable they are or are not given our current personnel?

Something more than he sucks at Safety or is great at Striker and our LBs are terrible so why not, but doesn’t need to be a book.
 

Combo

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Not a nuance, but the one quality needed regardless of scheme is ability to diagnose/read the play in a split second. All the speed, size and toughness in the world means jack if you don’t have that. Of the LBs/Strikers in our roster, the only ones that appear to have theater ability are Flagg, Frierson, and Smith. Which is why those should be our starters, absent portal, injuries, etc.
Neither Shaq nor Pinckney had great measurables, but they were both quite competent at diagnosing the play, which made them quality LBs.
Serious question: can someone explain the nuances of LB spots to the board so we can understand how easily interchangeable they are or are not given our current personnel?

Something more than he sucks at Safety or is great at Striker and our LBs are terrible so why not, but doesn’t need to be a book.
 

grover

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He's a striker..which is essentially a sam backer. Who cares what he is listed at he is playing the position you actually want him to currently

i just want both Gil and Kenotra on the field at the same time if the alternative is to have and of the other OLBs out there. Unless one of them steps up. Because right now those two are head and shoulders better than anyone.we have at the LB spot.
 
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