Oct. 11, 2012
In the seventh entry in the question and answer series for Class One, the first recruiting class of the University of Michigan men's lacrosse team, Matt Graham is profiled. Graham played for one of the nation's best high school teams at Chaminade High School (N.Y.) and is a two-way midfielder. He attended Jake Reed's Blue Chip camp over the summer and was named to the All-Catholic League team his junior season.
On playing at Chaminade, a national lacrosse powerhouse ... "My junior year I was put on [defensive midfield] for the entire year. That helped me work on my defense skills. Last year, I could play offense and defense. It helped me realize how every position is a part of the team. Being a defensive middie helped me respect other defensive middies when I was an offensive middie my senior year. That really helped me."
On playing with a bunch of other talent at Chaminade ... "It is pretty good. It is a lot of pressure, because you get a lot of press. All of your big games are covered by TV, and all of the newspapers are there. I guess it is a good learning experience for coming to a school like this, because you have all of the pressure."
On your toughest transition into college ... "Practice and workouts are way more serious. With the 5 a.m. lifts and conditioning after practice, it's a lot more work and dedication than the high school game."
On what type of lacrosse player you would describe yourself as ... "I would say an all-around middie. I can play defense and I can play offense. I can pass the ball. I can score. I use to faceoff, which also makes me more of an all-around player. Getting that defensive experience as a junior helped me become a more well-rounded player."
On what drew him to Michigan ... "Definitely the campus. When I first saw central campus and the athletic campus I fell in love right away. Also the potential that we have, that we could become a great lacrosse school and we are already on our way to becoming that. It is going to urge other schools to do the same thing."
On being part of Michigan's first lacrosse recruiting class ... "To be able to say you were a part of Michigan's first recruiting class. You know that in 20 years everyone is going to know Michigan lacrosse. To be able to say that is a pretty big thing."
On the new offense and assistant coach Ryan Danehy ... "He has been going over a lot of big shooting things, which is always really important in college lacrosse. Slowing down the tempo on offense and knowing when to press the ball. You are going to have to be a smart player in this offense, which I think I am. Putting all of those things together will make a successful offense."