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Excited to see Miami's Graham

5/13/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This is how it started: Miami forward Jimmy Graham approached recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt about using his final year of football eligibility with the Canes' football team. Hurtt then took Graham to coach Randy Shannon, who offered him an opportunity.

Graham didn't practice with the football team this spring, and he hasn't played since his early high school years, but Shannon said he likes Graham's toughness and his physical potential. Graham is about 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, and will try to help the team as a tight end.

"If he's big and he can run and he's got good hands," Shannon said, "he's got a shot."

One of the biggest adjustments Graham will have to make is not only running in pads, but running outside in South Florida. All of his conditioning and drills have been done inside, not in the heat.

"Running in pads once you get used to it, if he can bring something to the table and help us and make a catch here and there to move the first down sticks, that's great," Shannon said. "It's a rare thing, but every now and then you may get a person who can handle it and do it."

Shannon said that tight end Dedrick Epps is still rehabbing his knee, walking around without a brace and lifting. He's started to run straight ahead, but the staff is cautiously optimistic. Fans should feel the same about Graham.