Linebacker Omar Graham Jr. became the ninth prospect to claim a spot in the Seminoles’ 2022 recruiting class on June 20. The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Stranahan High standout was the first commitment FSU secured after the NCAA lifted the dead period on June 1. The rising senior chose Florida State over the likes of Miami, Penn State and Auburn.
Graham Jr. said he had been silently committed to Florida State since April but wanted to explore other options and be sure of his choice before making it public.
“There were multiple times,” said Graham Jr. when asked when he knew he wanted to commit to FSU. “Through April and May I was silently committed, but I was still weighing all my other options but, when the visit came, I just knew this was the place for me, so I pulled the trigger.”
“I committed to Florida State because of the home feeling,” continued Graham Jr. “It felt like family, and I believe this program is changing. I believe Coach (Mike) Norvell and his staff is changing around Florida State. I compared all of my options, and Florida State stood out the most.”
Graham Jr. only took two official visits before making a public decision on where he would further his academic and athletic career. He made a visit to Miami on June 4, and finally to Florida State on June 11. Shortly after his visit to Tallahassee, Graham Jr. cancelled his remaining two visits to Auburn and Penn State which were scheduled for later in June. Once he saw the FSU coaches and campus in person, he knew Tallahassee was going to be home.
“It was the family feel,” said Graham Jr. of what stood out on his visit. “It was a place that I knew I would be comfortable being there for three or four years and then having relationships with the guys and coaches for a lifetime. The scheme fit was nice in all the meetings. All the coaches were nice. It wasn’t just my position coach that was talking to me, it was the whole coaching staff, and that’s why it felt like family.”
At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Graham Jr. is ranked as the 60th-best linebacker in the country for the class of 2022. He will start his FSU career as an inside linebacker on defensive coordinator Adam Fuller’s defense, where he will play for linebackers coach Chris Marve.
“He’s an amazing dude,” said Graham Jr. of Marve. “First off, he teaches me the game and breaks it down for me with film and stuff. And he teaches me how to be a man. He mentors me in my relationship with my girlfriend now, like him and his wife are amazing people and it’s just like a family vibe with them. He’s like an uncle or father figure. I know that’s a coach that I can be close with. It means a lot that he’s mentoring me in my relationship because he and his wife are role models to me and my girlfriend. He contacts my family and cares about me outside of football.”
Graham Jr. also says he is aware that the FSU football program is trying to re-establish itself as an ACC and NCAA football powerhouse and that his commitment will not be impacted by the Seminoles’ results on the field in 2021.
“I know it’s a rebuild, so I’m not expecting to see them go like 10-0,” said Graham Jr. “I’m just looking for improvement and improvement at my position. If they were to have a bad season this year, I’m still locked in.”