Johnny Football, Torian Graham and Honey Nut Berrios
Posted August 14, 2013
I caught up on some reading this weekend, finally consuming the Johnny Manziel story from Sports Illustrated. I almost bypassed reading about the Heisman Trophy winner who runs just as hard and haphazardly off the field as he does on it.
But I'm glad I read it.
We've heard about the NCAA's interest in whether or not Manziel was paid a large sum of money for signing multiple autographs. Here's another angle in the SI story.
Andy Staples gave a specific account about an autograph seeker dressed in military fatigues who somehow found Manziel and his family in a Dallas airport. He wanted Manziel to sign some Texas A&M helmet decals for troops deployed overseas. Later, the Manziel family found on eBay those autographed helmet decals, plastered on the side of maroon helmets and up for bids. Needless to say, the goods were not intended for troops overseas.
There are two or more sides to almost every story.
Later, in the same Sports Illustrated edition, was a story by Luke Winn about why there have been so many transfers in college basketball. Two main characters in the story were Durham's Tyree and Torian Graham. Tyree is a 2008 recruit who played for four high schools and five colleges.
Torian played for five high schools, including Hillside and Word of God. Twice he committed to NC State, and both times didn't keep his commitment. He is currently playing at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla.
Remember, there are two or more sides to almost every story.
As I continued reading about Tyree and Torian, I learned about their lack of a consistent, solid family foundation. Their mother, once a teacher in Durham, became consumed with drugs and other questionable activities. There were many mornings when the Graham brothers were awakened by the sun shining brightly through the windshield of their mother's car.
Mom and her two sons often slept in the vehicle. She recently passed away after an illness. It's fairly easy to see the correlation between past problems and a path of indecision for Tyree and Torian.
That's not an excuse, because there have been many who came from less than stellar backgrounds who have gone on to find success. I hope the same happens for the Graham brothers.
Here's one more example to multiple sides to almost every story.
Leesville Road senior Braxton Berrios is a dynamic high school football player who can play multiple positions on offense. His clever nickname, Honey Nut Berrios, was spun from the name of a cereal and used as his Twitter handle: @HNYNUT_BERRIOS.
Berrios is bit undersized at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, but some of the nation's top programs think he can be a receiver in college. Berrios picked up an offer from Oregon last week to go along with the ones from Miami, South Carolina, Clemson and Tennessee, to name a few.
On June 14, Berrios posted on Twitter that his top five schools in alphabetical order were Clemson, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. The last line read, "any new offer will be strongly considered." Since then, he has received offers from Miami and Oregon.
You notice the omissions, right?? There are no in-state schools on his list. I know North Carolina has/had interest, but the feeling isn't mutual. The Tom O'Brien staff at NC State didn't think Braxton was enough of a player to pursue. Does the Dave Doeren staff have a different opinion? It's too late, according to the list that Berrios posted.
I'm not here to anoint Braxton Berrios as a college all-star, but I think he will have an impact on a college team.
There are some big-time college programs who agree, or they wouldn't have crossed the North Carolina border to extend Berrios an opportunity to bring his electricity to their team.