Rancho Cucamonga football enthusiasts might want to start pulling for the university of Oregon. Not only is senior standout Jaylon Redd going there, so is Cougars defensive back Thomas Graham.
Redd committed on his birthday in September but Graham made his choice public in festivities at the school today. He said his teammate going there was a factor, but not necessarily a “huge” one.
“It’s always nice to have someone there that you get along with and really trust,” he said. “But I had great talks with all the coaches there and when I went up there it felt right.”
Graham, a 6-foot, 1880-pounder who played defensive back and wide receiver, had more than 20 offers. He also took trips to Nebraska, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame.
Graham has been an impact player in his two years at Rancho after transferring from Roosevelt. He played defensive back exclusively as a junior but with the Cougars having graduated several wide receivers coach Nick Baiz put him on offense this year.
Graham was a major player in helping the Cougars to a 12-1 showing that included the school’s first ever unbeaten regular season. Rancho posted two impressive playoff wins and jumped into the national rankings before falling to No. 1 Mater Dei in the Division 1 semifinal.
Graham responded with 29 catches for 490 yards and six touchdowns. He also had a kickoff returned for a score and an interception for another. On defense he had 45 tackles, caused two fumbles and snagged two interceptions.
Graham had originally committed to USC but de-committed from there in April, eight months after his original decision. The coaching change and dismissal of the assistants who had most heavily recruited him was a big part of his decision to re-examine his options.
“I’m glad it’s all over,” he said. “I am happy with the decision and ready to go to the next level.”