Rancho Cucamonga’s Thomas Graham makes college decision

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.

Rancho Cucamonga ‘s Thomas Graham jr (#11) has been a key player for the Cougars on both sides of the ball. (Photo by John Valenzuela/ Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

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.”

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Rancho Cucamonga football duo set for big all-star game

VIDEO: Jaylon Redd and Thomas Graham of Rancho Cucamonga talk about their selection to Under Armour All-American game.

It’s quite an honor for a football team to have a player selected for one of the nation’s premier all-star games. The Rancho Cucamonga football team will have two going to the same contest.

Senior defensive backs Jaylon Redd and Thomas Graham were presented commemorative jerseys for the Under Armour All-American game in festivities at the school during the lunch hour Wednesday. That game will be played at the Camping World Stadium (formerly known as the Citrus Bowl) in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 1 and be televised live by ESPN.

Redd said he was first offered a spot in the game in April after his showing at a skills challenge in Baltimore.

“It will be fun getting to play with the best and against the best,” he said. “It will also be a fun experience for things outside the football.”

Graham was given his invite in June and is exited about getting to experience the event with his teammate.

“We have bonded so it will be great to be there with him,” Graham said. “It’s a great experience that not everyone gets.”

The two players are among the most highly sought after athletes in the country.

Redd plans to announce his college decision on Monday and will do so via video. He has 16 offers and already made trips Nebraska and UCLA and scheduled one for Oregon.

Graham, whose 21 offers include 11 from the Pac-12, had originally committed to USC but later de-comitted. He has visited Nebraska and Notre Dame and has trips planned to Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State.

The duo has led the Cougars to a 4-0 record with three of those wins coming against ranked teams. They’ll play at least three more ranked teams, one of those coming up this Friday when Rancho squares off against Citrus Hill, ranked ninth in Division 2.

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Rancho Cucamonga’s Thomas Graham still committed to USC

Rancho Cucamonga defensive back Thomas Graham has always wanted to play for USC and grew up idolizing Reggie Bush.

Despite the events of the weekend, Graham, who committed to USC in July, says he is still committed to the school.

Thomas Graham talks recruiting

Graham says he spoke with Athletic Director Pat Haden this morning and the USC Athletic Director told him the scholarship offer was still on the table and he was still wanted in the program.

“I talked to my family about it and right now we’re still committed,” Graham said. “We’ll see what happens but this is the school I wanted to go to and it still is.”

Graham, who transferred from Roosevelt to Rancho Cucamonga, also considered offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington. He visited all but Oklahoma before making the decision over the summer.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian was put on an indefinite  leave of absence on Sunday amid reports of an alcohol problem.

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Rancho Cucamonga boasts some big names in secondary

The Rancho Cucamonga football team boasted a couple major commitments this week as Thomas Graham Jr., a trasnfer from Eastvale Roosevelt, made a verbal to USC while Tayari Venable announced he’ll attend Washington State.

Introduction 2017: DB Tayari Venable

Both are juniors so nothing is signed, sealed or delivered yet and some kids change their minds. But the fact that both have opted for Pac 12 schools tells you the quality of players we’re talking about here.

Just how good should the Cougars secondary be? Well, pretty good. Not only does coach Nick Baiz have those two, there’s another junior-to-be in Jaylon Redd who started last year and saw saw significant playing time as a freshman.

Redd already has seven Pac 12 offers, the first of those coming shortly after his freshman year. Among his offers are USC and UCLA.

The fourth member of the Rancho secondary is Darriel Busby, who is the most experienced of the four but is smaller in stature which is going to limit his college prospects.

Baiz says its the best quartet at that position he has ever coached but he isn’t going overboard yet as far as his praise.

“We have some great players back there but it’s not just about them,” he said. “You have to have the pass rush. You have to stop the run. The defense is about each unit doing its job for them for it to be effective as whole.”

The Baseline League will be as tough as ever this year and there are several teams with potent passing attacks. So stay tuned.


Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email

Rancho Cucamonga’s Thomas Graham says its USC

Thomas Graham talks recruiting

Rancho Cucamonga football standout Thomas Graham Jr., has decided he wants to stay close to home and attend USC. The junior-to-be made the decision public in a ceremony with his Ground Zero summer league teammates.

USC made an offer last week to the 5-foot-10, 160-pound cornerback after he made an unofficial visit to campus and participated in Rising Stars camp.

“It has always really been my dream school,” Graham said. “They have great tradition and it will be a great education to fall back on if football doesn’t work out for some reason.”

Graham has a sister Jasmyne that will compete on the school’s track team. She will be a freshman. That didn’t necessarily tip the scales in the Trojans’ favor though.

“It was really my decision,” he said. “It just worked out well for both of us.”

Graham, who transferred from Eastvale Roosevelt to Rancho Cucamonga, also considered offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington. He visited all but Oklahoma.

Graham, who says he grew up a Reggie Bush fan, is the third player to commit to the Trojans’ 2017 recruiting class. He joins running back Stephen Carr, a Ground Zero teammate, and receiver Amari Rodgers.

He played in eight games last year at Roosevelt, tallying 49 tackles and an interception as a sophomore.

“It was nice to get the decision out of the way so I can concentrate on the season,” he said. “It was a lot of fun but the whole process was going to get crazier since I’m just going to be a junior.”

Share this
Plusone Twitter Facebook Tumblr Reddit Stumbleupon Email