WHEATON – If this next month is anything like the previous one, Ryan Graham certainly won’t have any qualms.
In addition to helping Wheaton Warrenville South’s football team to a perfect 4-0 mark, the senior quarterback recently made the decision to continue his football career at Northern Illinois University.
“It’s definitely been crazy for me,” said Graham, who threw for a touchdown and ran for another in Friday’s 42-7 win over West Aurora. “Our team is excited about what we’ve been doing and the success we’ve had. But our team knows we can improve a lot more, and I know I can certainly improve.
“And I’m very excited about Northern Illinois, but that is next year. I’ve got this year to focus on. We are concentrating on each game and hopefully we will be at NIU [for the state championship game] at the end of the year.”
Regarding the team’s most recent game, Wheaton Warrenville South jumped out to a 35-0 lead at halftime and never looked back.
“Our special teams really came to play,” Graham said. “That was something coach Muhitch wanted to focus on, making the special teams special. And our defense was great. They gave us some short fields and we were able to score. We were just focusing on executing and doing things right.”
This week expects to be a stiffer challenge as the Tigers travel to take on Naperville North.
As for his college selection, Graham will be following in the footsteps of his dad Dan, who was a Huskies’ tight end from 1984-87.
“We went [to NIU] for a 7-on-7 the first week of the summer,” said the senior, who visited DeKalb this past weekend. “They really liked me and kept in contact every week. That really showed me that they were interested in me. When they offered me, I didn’t have any doubt that I was going to take it. It is something I’m really excited about.”
After receiving playing time under center for the Tigers as a sophomore and junior, Graham credits offseason work for helping him take the next step this season. He has accounted for six touchdowns, three rushing and three passing, through four games.
“The past two years, I had OK years,” he said. “I was more of a running quarterback, I didn’t throw it that well. In the offseason, I worked on throwing the ball and becoming more of an actual quarterback. I wanted to try to make the team the best I could and the things I did in the offseason, I think that is helping the team.”