At KPGFootball we are big-time Baker Mayfield fans. Although we can’t seem to find it in our exhaustive internet research undertaken before writing each and every article, we are pretty sure it was he who said words to the effect that football really isn’t a game for everyone. One has to be special to even play.
It’s one reason why we aren’t fans of certain recruiting services which take it upon themselves to deride and ridicule kids, on social media sites no less. These are kids who are playing the game, and well, being handicapped by analysts whose knowledge of football is confined to what someone else has told them.
While we didn’t find the Mayfield quote for which we were looking, we found another Mayfield-ism with which we couldn’t agree more. Football is a violent, competitive game. That’s the way it was always meant to be played. You are supposed to play with an edge. You are actually supposed to impose your will on the other person to win.
That was a relief, for a minute there we were afraid JaTwan Graham wasn’t playing the game the right way. Graham, a Darell Keith protégé, plays the game of football violently and imposes his will on the other competitors. Matter of fact many of Coach Keith’s players seem to play that brand of football.
Graham as a sophomore gained 214 yards on 62 rushing attempts with 3 rushing TDs. Under Keith, as a junior in 2018, JaTwan upped his carries to 120, upped his yardage output to 690 yards, and upped his rushing TDs to 5. Graham, in 2018, caught 6 passes from out of the backfield for 63 receiving yards and converted a whopping 6 two-point conversions. Graham even tossed in 33 tackles from LB with a tackle for loss mixed in for emphasis, if for no other reason.
We featured Graham in a series we used to do called the “Rebel of the Week.” The feature, published in June of 2018, predicted that Graham, whom we referenced as a Robert Newhouse type of old-school fullback, would see his carries, yards from scrimmage, and rushing TDs go way up in 2018. His carries nearly doubled (from 62 to 120), his yards rushing more than tripled (from 214 to 690), and his rushing TDs nearly doubled (from 3 to 5). How’d we do?
As we get ready for 2019, so is JaTwan Graham. The 5-9, 235 pound, class of 2020 prospect and mound of intimidation is in the weight-room, right now, getting ready to come down hill at you (if you’re on the schedule).
When you go to tackle him, he’s going to impose his will, he’s going to compete violently, he’s going to play with an edge. If you’re not careful, you may come away from the collision markedly shorter, having your vertebrae compressed together, thus narrowing your epidural spaces, resulting in a shorter, compacter you.
They should create a name for that resulting vertebral condition around both Elkin and western-Kentucky. That should be called getting Graham-ed.
Football is a sport played by men. It isn’t for the faint of heart or the reticent of spirit. It isn’t a coward’s game. While it may not create courage, it certainly reveals it. JaTwan Graham is a tough man, playing a tough-man’s game, a tough-man’s way. Look out, 2019! Better duck. He’s coming right at you!
Reporting for KPGFootball, this is F.W. Long, reminding all of you ballers out there to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.
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