When news broke this week that Avery Graham would be the first athlete to commit to the Maryland Terrapins football team for the graduating class of 2009, scouting experts and football fans alike scoured the internet to find out something about him. They inevitably wound up at mocorunning.com to find that he is perhaps better known for his accomplishments on the track than as a member of the Clarksburg football team…at least individually.
Graham is a team player when it comes to football. He loves tearing across the field to smash into opposing players. He loves watching out for his teammates and knowing that they are watching out for him. He was a leader on a team that made it to the 2A West regional playoff game in the school's second year of existence.
But having no registered bio on popular recruiting websites such as scout.com and rivals.com, the football experts were surprised when this "no name" committed to the Terps as a junior. After all, it is tough to stand out on the football field when you are a humble linebacker who constantly makes sacrifices for the good of the team.
Track and field is where he gets to shine.
If Graham didn't prove to everyone that he was one of the best athletes in the state when he won the indoor state titles in the shot put and 55-meter dash, he showed Tuesday that he is ready to showcase his talents in an even wider range of events.
He started out his day by winning the shot put with a throw of over 49 feet, which by now is standard for him.
In the 100-meter dash, he beat out a field of state-caliber sprinters with a time of 10.6, granted this was hand-timed and very wind-aided.
In the 200-meter dash, he again blew away his competition, clocking a time of 21.9.
With so much talent, it's impossible for Graham not to stand out on the track, but that doesn't mean that he drops his team ethic when football season is over. As soon as he finished his 200-meter race, he walked over to the high jump mat and gave advice to his teammates. He then took one jump of his own.
When asked if doubling up with track and football is beneficial to him for both sports, he said that he uses his track ability to his advantage. He thinks that he will play a position like defensive back that requires a great deal of speed and power to get across the field quickly and stop plays.
The fact that the University of Maryland will allow him to participate in football and track & field was a factor in his decision to commit.