Linebacker Omar Graham Jr. is another 2022 signee that enrolled at Florida State this spring to get a head start on his life as a college football student-athlete. In just two weeks the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan High product is already learning a lot about himself, his new teammates and life as a college football player.
One of the first things freshmen enrolled early must learn to adjust to are the challenges of a college football off-season program known at FSU as Tour of Duty.
“It’s been great and pretty humbling,” said Graham when asked about the off-season workouts. “Because you’ve just got to learn technique, so it is basically like you are learning from the beginning. It’s been great. I’m doing a lot of workouts that I’ve never done before. Doing a lot of stuff. I’m being pushed to a limit that I never knew I could reach. It is great so far.”
Graham Jr. says the Seminoles’ defensive coaching staff plans to line him up at inside linebacker to start his career in Tallahassee. He also says that his new teammates and fellow linebackers Amari Gainer, Kalen DeLoach and DJ Lundy have been a huge help to him as he begins to try and learn the details of playing for FSU and life in college.
“Really the whole linebacker group, really guys like Amari, Kalen and DJ, they’re really guys I can be comfortable around,” said Graham Jr. “They are just teaching me. They are making me feel welcomed. If I mess up on something, they are telling me that it is alright. They’re telling me how to do things, basically just how to do things and how to make myself better.”
Graham Jr. has already endeared himself to the FSU fan base when he took to Twitter on Early National Signing Day after the Seminoles lost a couple of key recruits by reassuring them that they were going to be just fine with whomever signed on to be a part of Mike Norvell’s 2022 recruiting class.
“A lot of fans were going crazy, stressing and stuff like that,” said Graham Jr. “But I was just trying to tell them that everything’s OK. Coach Norvell’s got us heading in the right direction. And, yeah, I’ve basically always been like that.”
His belief in what his new head coach is trying to accomplish at FSU is one of the main reasons Graham Jr. signed with the Seminoles.
“Really, I just believed in him,” Graham Jr. said of Norvell. “Just seeing how much fight the team had. Just everything that he talked about, I could see it in the team. Just the team never laid down during games, anything like that. I just really believe in Coach Norvell.”
Graham Jr. is also excited about the chance to play for new FSU co-defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, who he has known since his early days as a high school player.
“My relationship with Coach Shannon is going great,” said Graham Jr. of his position coach. “I’ve known him since my recruitment process started, when he was at UCF. He is a great person. We’re still building that relationship. I know I can count on him, call him for anything, just stuff like that. I’m glad that he is my position coach because he’s been in the game for a long time, and he’s coached a lot of greats. I know he can bring me a lot of knowledge and stuff like that.”