Myles Graham, a tailback from Chaminade Madonna in Florida. committed to Indiana on Wednesday night to become the sixth member of the 2013 class.
Graham rushed for 852 yards on just 75 carries last season. He picked Indiana over offers from Tulane, Bowling Green and Western Kentucky.
UPDATE: Myles Graham always pictured himself as a Big Ten running back. He might have grown up in Hollywood, Fla. amongst ACC and SEC powers Miami, Florida State and Florida, but with his 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame, he pictured himself on a midwest I-formation team running between the tackles.
“The Big Ten conference always felt like it would be a good fit for me,” Graham said. “Big Ten football fits my style of running. That’s a big thing for me. … I’m a pro-style, down-hill runner. In the Big Ten, that’s what they’re looking for. People who can break tackles.”
Tim Tyrell, the coach at Chaminade-Madonna, knew that full well. The former Youngstown State assistant coach grew up in the same Ohio hometown as Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough. In Graham, he saw a tailback that was much closer to the ones he grew up watching at home than the others he saw in Florida.
“He’s not lying when he says that,” Tyrell said. “The first time I met him, he told me, ‘I’m a Big Ten tailback.’ And that’s exactly what he is. Where I’m from, he would’ve dotted the I.’”
Though IU coach Kevin Wilson’s offense is more spread than I-formation, the Hoosiers will run power from time-to-time and they want a downhill runner regardless. Tyrell said the Hoosiers were lucky to get this one without having to go up against bigger schools.
Tyrell and Graham both said Nebraska and others were interested, but were waiting to see how Graham recovered from a season-ending ankle injury that held him to just eight games last season.
“He would’ve been a 1,500-yard rusher last year if he didn’t get hurt,” Tyrell said. “… I’m from the same hometown as Coach McCullough, and I told him to jump on him early, because once the Nebraskas and other big schools see his first three games this year, they’re going to be all over him. They still will be, but we have a rule at this school that once you commit, you’re committed.He’s going to be a Hoosier.”