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Honesty and recruiting don’t always go hand in hand, as college coaches are in the business of selling their programs to garner a commitment from standout athletes.
For Lafayette senior football player Tyrek Graham, honesty is what set Division I Stony Brook University apart from other colleges recruiting him.
Honesty from Stony Brook came in the form of coaches telling Graham he needed to hit the weight room, would not start as a freshman on the top-ranked Football Championship Subdivision defense and would potentially need to redshirt.
The rhetoric was not what Graham wanted to hear, but it was what he needed to hear. And after receiving a scholarship offer from Stony Brook on Dec. 19, Graham called the Stony Brook coaching staff four days later and gave his verbal commitment.
“With a lot of other schools, I seemed like just another athlete. Stony Brook reached out to me first and said they were really interested in me,” he said. “Stony Brook has been up front with me from the beginning. They told me I was one of their top guys on the board.”
Graham found himself near the top of Stony Brook’s recruiting board for good reason. At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Graham has all the measurables desired of a safety, which Graham expects to play in Stony Brook’s 4-2-5 defense.
With an ability to read the eyes of the quarterback while in pass coverage and meet runners at the line of scrimmage, Graham will be asked to wear many hats within Stony Brook’s defense – just like at Lafayette.
As somewhat of a physical standout in the Bay Rivers District, Graham lined up at safety, cornerback and linebacker for the Rams throughout his four-year career at Lafayette.
“I basically played every position except defensive line,” he joked.
Being able to play all over the field helped Graham develop a well-rounded skill set that proved desirable for Stony Brook’s coaches.
But Stony Brook is not the only team vying for Graham’s services. Football Bowl Subdivision schools like the University of Virginia and Iowa State have offered Graham football scholarships.
While UVa’s scholarship offer has since been rescinded with the recent coaching changes at the school, Iowa State is still a player in Graham’s recruitment. And with National Signing Day roughly a month away, there’s always a chance other larger schools could throw a late offer Graham’s way.
The same honesty shown by Stony Brook has been reciprocated by Graham, who said his verbal commitment to Stony Brook is not necessarily rock solid.
“If something else big doesn’t come along, I’m going to stay at Stony Brook,” he said. “But if something else big comes up, I can’t promise I’ll stay.”