We're coming down the homestretch. "Get to know" any Orangemen you've missed by clicking here.
First up today is a player who has the potential to be one of the most exciting playmakers on the team this year, Dorian Graham.
Position: Wide Receiver
Year: Senior (Junior eligibility)
Hometown: Plantation, FL
High School: Saint Thomas Aquinas School
2010 Stats: Dorian made his biggest contributions to the team on special teams last season. He returned 16 kickoffs for a total of 392 yards (an average of 24.5 yards per return). He also had one carry for 11 yards last season.
2011 Projections: The biggest, if not only, reason that Dorian barely saw the field at receiver last season was because of his major struggles with catching the football. He's worked on his hands all year, and while he is still prone to dropping the ball more than anyone would like, he has gotten much better at catching the ball. Dorian was moved to receiver from defensive back because of his elite speed, and man, can he run. Few defensive backs will be able to keep up with Dorian, so if we can get him in space, or behind the secondary, it's off to the races. I expect to see a lot of Dorian on offense this year.
Here's what I wrote about Dorian in my spring football report card:
Dorian Graham: (B) — Graham has always struggled catching the football, which is one of the reasons that many looked for him to move back to defense . However, he's made great gains in this area, and it really showed by the end of the spring camp. Graham is one of the fastest players on the team, and is a home run threat every time he goes deep. If he can haul in those passes, he may become one of the most exciting players on the team. He is also one of the best blocking wide receivers on the roster, which is definitely something that the staff looks for.
How'd He Get Here?: Dorian really wanted to be a part of the snowball that catches fire and signed with Greg Robinson and company over Air Force, Duke, Minnesota, Central Michigan, and UCF. Jim Salgado was his lead recruiter.
What Did Scout/Rivals Say?: Scout gave him 2 stars, and ranked him as the #146 safety prospect in his class. Rivals was kinder to our friend Dorian, giving him a 3-star ranking and putting him #57 among safeties and #94 in the state of Florida.
Money Quote: Dorian last season, on the move to receiver...
"I never played wide receiver before," Graham (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) said Wednesday. "Coming into this thing I thought receiver was all about speed and things like that, but I really got the true understanding of the technique itself, which was hard to grasp at first, but it’s coming along every day. Coach (Rob) Moore is doing a good job of keeping patient with me and helping me out on the little things I need to focus on to get on the field."
Doug Marrone Thinks: ...that Dorian has been the best receiver in camp this summer, according to Dave Rahme. This is a good sign.
Interesting Nugget O'Interest: Dorian Graham is a physical freak. He combines his sub-4.3 speed with the ability to put up 435 lbs on the bench press, and a 39-inch vertical. The strength is already evident, he is one of the best blockers we have at receiver (a very underrated ability). If he can put that speed and leaping ability to work, watch out Big East.
Let Us Get a Good Look Atchya: All those fancy stats I put up above about Dorian's strength and speed and whatnot. Here they are in video form:
Dorian Graham (via Datdude2322)