T.J. Graham leaves it all out there, literally
Sep 13, 2011
Opposing coaches know about the dangerous T.J. Graham by now. Jim Grobe was expressing those worries about him in an interview with 620 The Buzz last week. He's blazing fast. He returns punts. He returns kicks. He catches passes.
The Deacons pulled out a win despite Graham going for 117 yards and a touchdown as an N.C. State comeback fell short. It also seems to be an accomplishment just keeping Graham from returning a kick or punt for a score.
But Graham nearly took a kick back for a score in the third. Although the play was called back for an illegal block, Graham, with his track speed, got ran out-of-bounds at the three.
"Oh I was tired," Graham grinned. "This is the most I ran ever since I've been here. I'm getting the majority of snaps on offense now and playing special teams, kick returning, punt returning, that's a lot of snaps."
I suppose running at full speed so often takes a lot out of him. Which may also be why his teammates didn't give him any flak for not making it to the endzone.
"No, of course not. I gave it all I had. In the past I've always thrown up after those long returns," Graham said. "I always get really sick because it's different energy systems. Same thing happened on Saturday except I had to go back out there and contribute on offense. There's no hiding behind Owen [Spencer] or Jarvis [Williams] after that I had to go step up as the go-to-guy and help us get out of that hole."
Graham said he thew up immediately after that nullified long kick return. Then it was right back to playing.
"Yeah, it was pretty funny."
What's more incredible is he isn't the only guy in the Triangle to go the Willie "Steamin" Beamen route. Kendall Marshall at UNC told us about his throwing up ritual last season.
I don't know what these guys are eating before games but maybe a simple energy bar will do. And at least an hour beforehand.