DETROIT, Mich. – Hailing from Detroit’s Cody High School, senior wide receiver Rodney Graves entered the season as an under-the-radar recruit. Despite possessing good size at 6’2” and over checking in at 180-pounds, Graves’ recruitment was yet to truly take off.
“My recruitment was going alright before the season,” Graves told Today’s U. “I had pretty much a few MAC schools looking at me including Toledo, Bowling Green State and Central, but they never offered.”
Graves picked up his first offer before the fourth game of his season, a scholarship extended by nearby Davenport University, a NAIA school. After that, however, Graves started to hear from Western Michigan University and built a relationship with the Broncos’ after working out for the coaching staff.
“First they came to see me practice,” Graves said. “I worked out for them and ran a few routes and stuff. They’ve been contacting me ever since. Then coach called me over the phone and offered me a scholarship.”
With four touchdowns on the season so far, Graves thought long and hard about his options after picking up the WMU offer. In the end, though, the Broncos earned his commitment this past Sunday when Graves decided that Western Michigan’s program offered too many advantages to pass up.
“They were one-on-one with me and focused on just winning,” Graves said. “They really bring out the best in you and they make you a better man. The coaches are all great. They all show me love, like the receiver coach and the head coach. The program is nice over there.”
Graves recapped his visit to Kalamazoo this past weekend, one which saw the rising senior athlete issue his verbal pledge directly to Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck during a closed-door meeting inside his future coach’s office.
“It was this Sunday when I went down there for a visit. I checked out the campus and then my family, we had a personal meeting with the head coach, P.J. Fleck. That’s when I told him that I wanted to commit and it happened just like that,” Graves explained.
Graves has not yet established the date for his official to the Broncos’ campus, and in regards to taking official visits to other schools, Graves says that he is “not sure yet.”
On the field this season, Graves indicated that despite his team’s struggles early on it has been a positive experience.
“My season has been going pretty well,” Graves said. “We had a rough start, though. We lost our first game then our momentum has just been down since then. Right now we are 2-4. As an individual, I’ve been playing receiver for my team since that’s where they think I can make a big impact.”
At Western, Graves figures to make an impact on the outside as a dynamic pass-catching receiver. Graves broke down his playing style and previewed what Western Michigan can expect once he arrives on campus next season.
“I like to play fast,” Graves said. “I really focus on my routes and getting separation from defensive backs. I’m just a fast overall player.”
Click here to watch Graves’ highlight tape.