Mylan Graham Trusts Brian Hartline’s Developmental Track Record, Calls Himself a Mix Between Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba

By Garrick Hodge on May 11, 2023 at 8:35 am
Mylan Graham

Five-star Ohio State wide receiver commit Mylan Graham spent his Sunday afternoon juking defensive backs out of their socks and creating separation from defenders in one-on-one drills.

Yet, not five minutes after being named an MVP of Sunday’s Under Armour Next camp in Obetz, Graham was already reflecting on how he could have performed better.

“I feel like I could have done a little better on a few more of my reps,” the 6-foot-1, 170-pound wideout said after his camp performance. “I don’t lose any of my reps, but I still feel like I could have done a little bit better. I really just came here to have fun and get better.”

Graham has embraced his constant craving to better himself for months, and it’s partly what led to Ohio State offensive coordinator Brian Hartline discovering the eventual five-star wide receiver in the first place nearly a year ago.

When the New Haven, Indiana resident arrived in Columbus for a one-day recruiting camp on June 1, hardly anyone in the national recruiting industry had heard of him. Hartline had been recruiting Graham for a few months before then, but at the time, he had no Division I offers and no stars on his recruiting profile. 

With Hartline watching closely, Graham put on a show in individual drills and one-on-one matchups. Ohio State is hardly ever a recruit’s first-ever Division I offer. But OSU and Hartline made an exception following Graham’s performance.

“I balled out. I did my thing, and then he ended up offering me,” Graham said reflecting on the camp. “It was my first offer, but he didn’t really care about that. I was a no-star, no-offer type of guy. He didn’t really care. He saw some potential in me that he’d like to coach. I really thought about that when I committed (in April).”

It took offers from other schools for Graham to realize just how significant an Ohio State offer was. After the OSU offer, Graham earned 27 more Division I offers, including other blue bloods such as Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Michigan. But from day one of his ascension to a nationally coveted prospect, OSU always seemed to be at the forefront of his recruitment. 

“It took me getting about eight offers,” Graham said before he understood just how much an OSU offer meant. “Then it really started hitting me. I was like ‘Well, I have an Ohio State offer.’”

Graham took three gameday visits to OSU last fall, visiting for the Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Michigan games. He returned twice this spring, including for the Buckeyes’ student appreciation day practice on April 1. Graham said being at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center for that practice cemented his decision for him, and he didn’t want to wait anymore to cement his place in the class. 

He publicly committed to the Buckeyes three days later, giving the Buckeyes two five-star wideouts in the 2024 cycle with Graham joining Jeremiah Smith, the top-ranked receiver in the class.

“I just felt like I could go in there and really prove a point early and get my spot,” Graham said reflecting on his decision to commit to Ohio State. “And then obviously I trust coach Hartline a lot with the track record of developing guys into the first round. It’s like he does it every single year. It’s almost like the standard there.”

Graham knows the success Ohio State receivers have had in recent years and isn’t short on confidence, calling himself a mix between Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. 

“I really like Smith-Njigba because you can really throw him inside or outside, but he’s mainly a slot type of guy,” he said. “And then Garrett is more like a Z type of receiver. That’s really what I feel like I am.”

Graham had a strong junior season for New Haven High School, catching 48 passes for 1,149 yards with 13 touchdowns. He has experience as both a slot and outside receiver and said he does not have a preference as to where he plays, just wherever he can get the ball more.

“I’m just a smaller, more versatile receiver. I can really play outside or inside,” Graham said. “When I get the ball in my hands, it’s like magic, honestly. I get in and out of my breaks really good. Really technical and polished.”

He’s also confident in his speed, though perhaps not enough to live up to an iconic quote from the film The Longest Yard.

“I’m real fast,” he said. “I’m not fast-fast, but I’m fast. I’m fast enough.”

Graham hasn’t finalized his OSU enrollment plans as of yet, but said he’s leaning toward enrolling early in January to get a jump start on his collegiate career. He’s considering returning to Columbus in June for a recruiting camp to get coached more by Hartline and said he doesn’t plan on visiting any school other than Ohio State this year.

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