Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Graham Harrell
Graham Harrell (QB)
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 223
College: Texas Tech
Conference: Big 12
Hometown: Ennis, TX
High School: Ennis
Featured Prospects
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Ever since head coach Mike Leach arrived at Texas Tech in 2000, the Red Raiders have owned the NCAA passing record charts, having captured the passing title six times. Leach's quarterbacks have seen their names etched in the school, Big 12 Conference and NCAA record books - from Kliff Kingsbury (1999-2002), to B.J. Symons (2000-03), to Sonny Cumbie (2001-04), to Cody Hodges (2002-05) and now, Harrell (2005-09), all have learned under Leach's guidance the art of throwing the pigskin.


Still, despite all of those All-American passers that Leach has taught, none might have had the impact that Harrell has. By the time the three-year starter hung up his helmet for the final time, he was the proud owner of the NCAA record for the most touchdown passes (134) in major college annals. He would also place second all-time with 15,793 yards passing and 15,611 yards in total offense and third with a 350.96-yard passing average and a 346.91-yard average in total offense.


In addition, Harrell's 5,705 yards passing in 2007 was the second-highest season total ever in the NCAA FBS ranks. His 5,614 yards in total offense that year rank third in major college annals while his 48 touchdown passes as a junior rank fourth. In each of his three seasons as a starter, his passing yardage figures placed in the Top 25 all-time at the FBS level (21st in 2006 with 4,555 yards and sixth in 2008 with 5,111 yards).


Harrell comes from a football family. His father, Sam, served as his head coach during his playing days at Ennis High School. His younger brother, Clark, is a quarterback at Abilene Christian University. At Ennis High, Graham was a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, earning Gatorade Texas Player of the Year honors as a senior.


Harrell added EA Sports All-American honors, as he was rated the seventh-best pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com, the 15th-best overall prospect in Texas by Texas Insider Top 100, the 15th-best quarterback in the nation by Super Prep and the ninth-best overall prospect in the state by the Dallas Morning News.


A two-time All-State and three-time All-District pick, Harrell was also a two-time District 16-4A MVP, as he compiled a 41-3 record as a three-year starter. He was a member of Max Emfinger's and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's National Top 100 teams, and was named Offensive Athlete of the Year by the Dallas Morning News. He also garnered Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year accolades from the Associated Press as a junior and senior.


Harrell passed for 4,825 yards and 67 touchdowns, as he completed 244 of 373 passes as a senior. That year, he led Ennis to an undefeated regular season, as they averaged 53.8 points per game. He holds the state record for touchdown passes in a season and produced seven 300-yard passing games in 2003, including passing for 573 yards in win over Waxahachie, the third-best single-game total in state history.


Harrell threw for 3,411 yards and 46 touchdowns against only six interceptions as a junior. He also rushed for 1,055 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2002. The Prep Star All-American selection closed out his career as the state's all-time leading passer with 12,532 yards and 167 touchdowns. He also ranks nationally in single-season touchdowns (second), career touchdowns (third) and career passing yards (sixth).


The rifle-armed quarterback was heavily recruited by Georgia, North Carolina State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Wisconsin and Kansas State before he decided to enroll at Texas Tech. In 2004, he redshirted for the Red Raiders and then saw relief work in six contests during the 2005 campaign. That year, he hit on 37 of 55 tosses for 422 yards and three touchdowns while caddying for starter Cody Hodges.


Harrell took over the starting quarterback position in 2006 and wasted no time etching his name into the school, league and NCAA record books. His 4,555 yards passing and 38 touchdowns are the third-highest totals by a sophomore in major college annals. He connected on 66.77 percent of his pass attempts (412 of 617), as he was intercepted 11 times and averaged 345.31 yards per game in total offense. His average of 369.46 yards per game passing led the nation while he finished sixth in total offense.


As a junior, Harrell was an All-Big 12 Conference second-team choice and Gator Bowl MVP. His 5,705 yards passing rank second all-time in college football history (all levels) while his 48 touchdown passes rank fourth in FBS season annals. He connected on 512 of 713 tosses (71.81 percent), as he led the nation with a 438.85-yard passing average per game. He also set a collegiate mark by throwing for at least 400 yards in 11 contests.


Harrell was named AT&T's All-America Player of the Year in 2008. He became the first Tech quarterback to earn first-team All-American honors since Jerry Kirkpatrick in 1953, as his 5,111 yards passing again topped the nation. He hit on 442 of 626 passes (70.61 percent) that included 45 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. He led the major college ranks with an average of 393.15 yards passing and finished second with a 392.0-yard average in total offense, as he threw for more than 400 yards in six games.


High School

Attended Ennis (Texas) High School, where he played for his father, head coach Sam Harrell...EA Sports All-American...Rated the seventh-best pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com, the 15th-best overall prospect in Texas by Texas Insider Top 100, the 15th-best quarterback in the nation by Super Prep and the ninth-best overall prospect in the state by the Dallas Morning News...Two-time All-State and three-time All-District pick... Two-time District 16-4A MVP...Compiled a 41-3 record as a three-year starter...Member of Max Emfinger's and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's National Top 100 teams...Named Offensive Athlete of the Year by the Dallas Morning News...Garnered Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year accolades from the Associated Press as a junior and senior...Passed for 4,825 yards and 67 touchdowns, as he completed 244 of 373 passes as a senior...That year, he led Ennis to an undefeated regular season, as they averaged 53.8 points per game...Holds the state record for touchdown passes in a season and produced seven 300-yard passing games in 2003, including passing for 573 yards in win over Waxahachie, the third-best single-game total in state history...Threw for 3,411 yards and 46 touchdowns against only six interceptions as a junior...Rushed for 1,055 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2002...The Prep Star All-American selection closed out his career as the state's all-time leading passer with 12,532 yards and 167 touchdowns...Also ranks nationally in single-season touchdowns (second), career touchdowns (third) and career passing yards (sixth).


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Analysis

Strengths: Intelligent leader who does not lack for poise. His head and feet are calm in the pocket. Very accurate on short and intermediate routes. A decisive, one-read quarterback, but is able to go through progressions when pressed. Can look off deep safeties to hit underneath routes. Shows some mobility in the pocket. Throws accurately off his back foot, from different arm angles and on the run in either direction. Works hard to get great timing with receivers. Better arm than he's given credit for, able to throw the 18-yard out from the opposite hash with adequate velocity. Has the athleticism to buy time in or outside of the pocket or pick up first downs with his feet - although he was not often asked to so do. Makes good decisions, and throws the ball away when needed. Gets the ball out quickly without extraneous movement.


Weaknesses: Only average size for the position, although he did seem to see the field well behind a NFL-sized offensive line. Worked primarily out of the shotgun, although he went under center occasionally in 2008. Tech's wide offensive line splits give him a larger pocket and bigger passing lanes than he'll see in the NFL. Will struggle with accuracy when pressured. Does not have a cannon arm for the vertical game, lacks accuracy on touch throws deep down the sideline. Passing yardage statistics padded by long runs after the catch in the spread offense.


Compares To: RYAN FITZGERALD, Cincinnati -- Harrell has decent mobility and shows a nice variety of arm angles in his release, but he is just an adequate athlete who won't frighten anyone when running with the ball or attempting to throw long. Like Washington's Colt Brennan, he did struggle taking snaps behind center at the Senior Bowl, where his lack of arm strength was exposed. He has put up impressive numbers for the Red Raiders, but ask yourself - have any of Mike Leach's spread/option quarterbacks panned out in the NFL?


Injury Report

No major injuries reported.


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