banner
Jeff Gravley

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.

8 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • Willie_11 Aug 14, 10:31 a.m.

    Great lesson to learn Jeff. Thanks for posting that information on the SI story. Very plausible.

  • jerryroll Aug 14, 12:29 p.m.

    Jeff: when are local sportscasters going to call out Word Of God school for their sham of a student-athlete program?? John Wall, Torian Graham, etc. I think folks are afraid of asking the 'Headmaster'...er Minister of Word Of God tough questions....why should he be allowed to run rampant, play fast and loose with the rules, while local schools look the other way? Think he will claim religious persecution or worse yet 'racism'? Word of God needs to be held accountable for their merry-go-round of a basketball program. Anybody else want to add comments?

  • Hokies94 Aug 14, 1:13 p.m.

    Solid article Jeff.

  • Hammerhead Aug 14, 1:46 p.m.

    Jeff: when are local sportscasters going to call out Word Of God school for their sham of a... View More

    — Posted by jerryroll

    I don't think that's in the job description.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Aug 14, 9:14 p.m.

    Good reminder for us not to be too quick to criticize people, like Johnny Football.

    The Berrios brothers have been great for Leesville Road; I remember back when Leesville struggled to win. I sure wish Carolina was on his short list.

  • jerryroll Aug 15, 8:41 a.m.

    *Hammerhead* - True - but these are opinion pieces where these issues can be brought up. Aware that it was not the theme of the OP piece from Jeff....but think we need a local discussion on the integrity of all Triangle school athletic programs. Maybe it's best left up to Kelcey and Cullen.

  • Hammerhead Aug 15, 9:02 a.m.

    *Hammerhead* - True - but these are opinion pieces where these issues can be brought up. Aware... View More

    — Posted by jerryroll

    I don't disagree, I was being sarcastic. The talking heads joke, opine and talk smack about such things behind the safety of the microphone and keyboard, but given the opportunity to actually address these issues with the parties involved, they lob softballs or just ignore it. Hard hitting questioning would require actual journalistic moxie. Such is sports "journalism". Kiss up in person, talk smack otherwise. Jim Rome is the king of that, but I think his episode with Jim Everett may have had something to do with it. Sports talk is nothing more now that two or more parties arguing about something, ESPN has about 10 shows dedicated to it.

  • Ken D. Aug 15, 10:58 a.m.

    I'm not quite sure what the point is about the Manziel anecdote. Is it to suggest that the four other times he supposedly signed memorabilia - roughly 4,000 pieces of it - are likely just other instances where Manziel thought he was doing something credit worthy but was duped instead?

    Or is it to point out that he sometimes acts nobly, instead of as a spoiled athlete?

    Or is it that the media shouldn't ask questions about situations that appear to be shady

    Personally, I don't care if he gets paid for signing autographs. Neither he nor his school are gaining any competitive advantage if he does. Any more than they gain an edge if some prospective agent fronts him some money in hopes of obtaining him as a future meal ticket.

    I do have issues if a school finds a way to pay him by outbidding the competition for his services when he is being recruited. I doubt anybody was throwing money at Manziel when he was in high school. He was only considered a three star recruit. ESPN ranked 38 quarterbacks ahead of him in the class of 2011 (UNC's Marquise Williams was rated much higher than Johnny Football).

    Let's save our indignation for schools that truly cheat, and not for the athletes who are being exploited for their benefit.

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Thursday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Tomorrow at 5:00 pm on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
WAS 102
ATL 106
 
4th
MIA 95
GSW 99
 
3rd
MIL 79
DET 67
 
3rd
NOP 68
SAC 75
 
2nd
DEN 42
CHI 36
 
4th
UMO 21
OHIO 21
 
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
 
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
 
Final
UWGB 64
EVAN 62
 
Final
ARST 71
ALA 76
 
Final
OHIO 69
ARKPB 60
 
Final
UNH 75
BU 68
 
Final
OU 70
CHIST 57
 
Final
TOL 79
DET 82
 
Final
CLMB 57
FD 47
 
Final
QUIN 50
HART 54
 
Final
SFLA 71
HOF 70
 
Final
HARV 84
HOU 63
 
Final
BONA 79
JST 71
 
Final
STJOE 74
LIU 70
 
Final
SYR 70
GHND 37
 
Final
MLOWELL 102
MTIDA 57
 
Final
CIN 59
NCCU 50
 
Final
VT 54
NIOWA 73
 
Final
WOFF 82
OHVALLEY 54
 
Final
TEMPL 76
PENN 67
 
Final
RUTG 50
PETE 68
 
Final
BGU 62
SEMIZ 54
 
Final
LAS 73
Terriers 60
 
Final
UVA 79
TENST 36
 
Final
KENT 92
TXARL 44
 
Final
FSU 66
CITA 55
 
Final
PBY 63
TOCC 40
 
Final
COOK 56
TENNM 74
 
Final
WMARY 83
WILL 49
 
Final
USB 71
WKENT 61
 
Final
HIGH 88
WMPEACE 71
 
2nd
SMU 70
ARK 75
 
Final
ARMY 80
BING 54
 
Final
CSOU 80
CARK 67
 
Final
UMBC 54
HOW 68
 
2nd
ARZ 70
KYST 67
 
Final
OREG 63
VCU 77
 
2nd
PSU 65
AKR 62
 
2nd
SCST 82
CIU 44
 
2nd
CREI 70
EILL 47
 
2nd
ALAAM 52
JVST 60
 
2nd
ABCHRIST 78
JCHR 54
 
2nd
TXSA 49
LOYC 56
 
2nd
NDST 63
MNCROOK 63
 
2nd
NEB 63
NEOM 52
 
2nd
VANDY 57
NORST 45
 
2nd
STLU 40
NCAT 45
 
2nd
MTST 64
NARZ 53
 
2nd
TTU 71
NWST 60
 
2nd
TULA 68
SOUTH 52
 
2nd
ILLCH 76
STXAVIER 57
 
Final
TEX 78
RFLSH 46
 
2nd
BRAD 47
TAMCC 31
 
2nd
SMISS 68
TROY 68
 
2nd
DRAK 61
IUPUI 48
 
2nd
ARKST 50
LAM 57
 
2nd
FLGC 32
USF 20
 
1st
COL 37
AFA 15
 
1st
IDAHO 26
BSU 32
 
1st
GRCN 25
BUF 39
 
Half
ORU 25
LALAF 36
 
Half
CHAR 37
MIAMI 38
 
1st
ISU 13
MD 13
 
9:47pm Tonight
UMO
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
PITT
10:00pm Tonight
MICH
VILL
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
BRISTOL
 
11:00pm Tonight
USC
CSFU
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
DEL
Final
CLB 2
WIN 4
 
2nd Intermission
NAS 3
LOS 2
 
2nd Intermission
STL 2
OTT 0
 
2nd
DAL 2
EDM 1
 
1st Intermission
ARI 3
COL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CAL
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
NJD