ESPNDallas.com Cowboys beat writer Tim MacMahon wrote a feature on how Green Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell has been inspired by his father, former Ennis football coach Sam Harrell. Graham Harrell played for his dad in high school and at Texas Tech before making it to the NFL by way of the CFL.
He spent last season in the Canadian Football League, stashed on the Saskatchewan Roughriders' injured list. He got a tryout in Green Bay in May and was signed after a 10-minute throwing session in front of head coach Mike McCarthy. He's now the Packers' scout-team quarterback, spending most of the season on the practice squad before getting promoted to the 53-man roster when Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion in December.
"There were days where I was like, 'Man, I don't want to go work out,' " Harrell said at Super Bowl XLV media day, a night after he made the trip home for dinner with his parents. "Then you think, 'Dad would do anything to be able to work out.' His toughness and thinking about him, it's always awesome.
"I think about him a lot. Any time I'm tired or thinking I don't want to do something, it's like, what am I complaining about? There are lots of people who would be killing to do this, and Dad is one of them."
Dad is Sam Harrell, well known around these parts as the coach who built Ennis High School into a Class 4A powerhouse, winning three state championships the past decade. He recently retired from coaching due to symptoms from multiple sclerosis.