The Hurricanes need to stack up at linebacker in the 2022 recruiting class, and one player from South Florida would very much help with that, 3-star LB Omar Graham Jr. from Stranahan in Ft.Lauderdale.
Graham has been receiving tons of attention recently as far as his recruitment process goes, but the hometown Hurricanes are very much in the race. Graham might not be a household name like 4-5 star recruits, but his time is quickly approaching.
247 Sports has Graham ranked as the #35 outside linebacker in the 2022 cycle, #76 player in Florida and #564 player nationally.
As a junior last year, Graham registered 38 tackles, 9 sacks and 11 TFLs in a shortened season, earning second-team All-County honors in Broward.
Standing 6-1 and weighing 219 pounds, Graham is a shifty and athletic linebacker, with nice pass-rushing skills and speed coming off the edge. A versatile player, Graham could be used in a variety of ways in Manny Diaz’s aggressive defense, either blitzing the QB or dropping back into coverage.
In blitzing situations, Graham has a violent and quick first step with a devastating inside move, getting around the tackle on his way to the quarterback. When dropping back into coverage, he does a good job at reading the QB and reacting to the pass, having great instincts that you look for in a linebacker.
Rushing the QB, defending the run or in coverage, Graham EXPLODES to the ball carrier with force, bringing them down hard, turning his speed into power. Watching Graham, you can tell he has a high football IQ, always around the ball and very aware of what the offense is doing. His ability to recognize the play is a trait that Miami needs more of with their linebackers, screen pass, outside run, doesn’t matter, Graham sniffs it out fast.
A high motor and giving great effort, Graham looks very natural and comfortable playing linebacker and on defense. What I love, on film he plays like someone who’s trying to prove something on every play, it’s awesome.
Class of 2022 Omar Graham 6‘2“ 225 he’s a very talented linebacker from Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, HS, FL. Quick twitch athlete with strength and speed. Dominates the middle of the line. Second-team all county. 3.2 GPA. Big-time talent.@OGrahamjr pic.twitter.com/smKtKqZ48P— Tom Lemming (@LemmingReport) March 2, 2021
Graham has been a popular recruit lately, receiving over 40 offers, with schools such as Penn State, Michigan, Auburn and Florida reaching out to him with offers. Miami offered Graham at the end of January, and some believe it could be a battle between the Hurricanes and FSU.
The question for Graham is, once he gets to the next level, what kind of player is he going to be? Will he be a traditional linebacker in college, and become as effective in coverage as he is as a pass-rusher? Or, will he be developed into more of a weak side defensive end?
Either way, Manny Diaz and the Canes are making Graham a top priority in their 2022 class. Graham has told reporters that he’s in constant communication with coaches Jonathan Patke, Travaris Robinson and DeMarcus Van Dyke, as well as coach Diaz.
With new offers coming and coming, Graham has pushed back his original announcement date of April 16th, with a new date not yet decided.
When it comes to linebacker recruiting for Miami in 2022, Graham is in my top-3 for the Hurricanes, along with 4-stars Wesley Bissainthe and Travious Lathan, all three hailing from South Florida. Miami needs to land at least two of these players, as they try and rebuild a defense that was dominant just a couple years ago. Graham is one of those recruits that fits the Miami defense perfectly.