football Edit

NC State lands Torian Graham

The lure of staying close to home proved too strong for Durham native Torian Graham in his college decision.
The talented junior shooting guard ended his recruitment by picking NC State on Monday over Kentucky, Miami, Xavier, UCLA, Syracuse, Louisville, Boston College, Florida State, Indiana and Georgetown, among others.
Graham said he's 100 percent solid to NC State because he "doesn't want to go far away from home if I don't have to."
Graham's commitment reaffirms what new coach Mark Gottfried stated when he was hired April 5 on trying to keep the top in-state players home.
"I wanted to stay close to home," said Graham, who played for Raleigh Word of God this past season after attending Durham Hillside High his first two years. "I wanted to play close to my mom and dad. It was real important. I wanted to be around my family, so I could be comfortable. I really wanted to stay close to my mom."
The 6-foot-4, 174-pound Graham, who Rivals.com ranked No. 25 in Monday's updated rankings, and a five-star prospect, has been a regular at NC State games over the last year. He cited the new coaching staff for getting the Wolfpack over the hump this month, particularly coach Mark Gottfried and assistant coach Orlando Early.
"I had a better relationship with the new staff at NC State," Graham said. "I was comfortable around them and the players. They were jumping around and were excited.
"Coach Gottfried was real laid back and a real cool person. He showed a lot of energy. Coach Early was also real cool. He wans't like a coach, but like a brother that is closer to you than a coach."
Graham's older brother, Tyree Graham, is a rising redshirt junior guard at Rutgers, and his older sister, Chelsea Lindsay, signed with Clemson this past fall. He also has several cousins that have played Division I basketball or football.
Graham hopes he can just get healthy and enjoy his senior year and take care of business on and off the court.
"I want to work out hard now," Graham said. "Everyone is just excited and people are blowing my phone up right now."
Graham joins Lewisville (N.C.) Forsyth Country Day junior point guard Tyler Lewis in NC State's class of 2012. Graham and Lewis are already working on a third in-state standout to join them.
"I want to get [junior guard] Rodney Purvis to come to NC State with me, so we have a chance to play for a national championship," Graham said. "I know Tyler Lewis real well and he's excited. He wanted me to join the Wolfpack."
Graham blew up a year ago at the Southern Invite in Hampton, Va., while playing with the D.C. Assault 16s squad. He had offers from Xavier, UMass and East Carolina. Graham added his original NC State offer, his first from an ACC college, after playing well at the Wolfpack team camp last June.
Graham is looking forward to playing in front of the Wolfpack fans at the RBC Center in the future.
"I love them and I'm excited to play in front of them," Graham said. "I want to win games. I'm just trying to stay focused."