Better Know a Buckeye: Mylan Graham Has the Speed, Acceleration and Route Running Skill to Give Ohio State Another Star Wide Receiver

By Josh Poloha on March 28, 2024 at 10:10 am
Mylan Graham

Better Know A Buckeye is our look at every member of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class and how they became Buckeyes as they prepare to begin their OSU careers this fall.

On the vast majority of programs across college football, Mylan Graham would be the top receiver and crown jewel of their 2024 class, but he wanted to be coached and developed by Brian Hartline and be a Buckeye. For Ohio State's wide receivers in the 2024 class, that means he's behind Jeremiah Smith, the top-ranked player in the class. But that just shows he's not afraid of competition.

The seventh-ranked wide receiver (No. 33 overall) in the 2024 class, Graham might be overshadowed by Smith as he begins his Ohio State career but brings plenty to the table that gives him his own potential to be a star for the Buckeyes.

Mylan Graham

  • Size: 6-1/170
  • Pos: WR
  • School: New Haven (New Haven, Indiana)
  • Star Rating: ★★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #33 (#7 WR)

How He Became a Buckeye

While Hartline has proven time and time again that he's the best wide receivers coach in the country, Graham's recruitment might be his most impressive effort yet.

Graham hadn’t received a single Division I offer until he dominated at Ohio State’s recruiting camp on June 1, 2022. While a flurry of offers followed (26, to be exact), the fact that Hartline and OSU were the first Division I team to offer Graham meant a lot to him.

"He was blown away," Graham's high school coach, Kyle Booher, told Eleven Warriors last fall of the wideout's first offer being Ohio State. "He knew he was getting some looks by then, Notre Dame had talked to him and Indiana had came in and talked to him. He had seen some other places with him looking and searching around, but when the OSU offer came through, he was in disbelief a little bit. But he also tried to say it makes sense because everyone has been talking to me so let’s roll with it."

He went from an unknown prospect to one of the highest-ranked receivers in the 2024 class when all was said and done. It was proof that Hartline could identify five-star talent even in a player who had been overlooked by recruiting analysts to that point.

While plenty of other schools entered the race for Graham, he never wavered from that first offer and committed to the Buckeyes on April 4, 2023. The 6-foot, 170-pound receiver picked Ohio State over the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Auburn, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Tennessee, among others.

“The more I work with him, the more I understood that it was the best decision for me possible,” Graham said of Hartline after camping at Ohio State again last June. “And I know the more I work with him, the better player I can be. Every experience I’ve had with Coach Hartline, whether he's come to my school or I've worked out in front of him or something like that, on the phone, it's always been a good experience. He's always teaching me some knowledge or things like that. And it really just poured into me the more I wanted to come here because I had really a great bond with him.” 

High School Years

Graham may not have been a well-known prospect nationally until he camped at Ohio State, but the Indiana native made an impact for New Haven High School throughout his four-year career.

Graham became a starter on the varsity team before the end of his freshman year. He started to blossom as a sophomore, catching 19 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

"He definitely showed signs as a freshman when he played for us, he started on varsity toward the end of the season," Booher said. "We knew as a freshman he was already leaving people behind and people had to game plan for him. By the end of his sophomore season, he was as tough as one of our seniors graduating at the time. When you have a sophomore coming in and doing as well as some seniors, you know he’s going to be pretty good.

"Then you watch him develop more over the summer, and he just stands out," the head coach continued. "His speed, quickness and change of direction is just something that’s different. A coach that used to coach here for 20-something years before I took over (last year) has told me he’s special. So you get other people telling you that, it confirms what you already see." 

As a junior, Graham totaled 48 receptions for 1,149 yards and 13 touchdowns. Graham had 39 catches for 566 yards and six touchdowns in just seven games as a senior despite drawing frequent double teams. He concluded his high school by participating in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Immediate Impact

Better Know A Buckeye

Graham's first season in Columbus will likely be one to develop both on the practice field and in the weight room. While he is one of the best wide receivers in the 2024 class, he won't join the Buckeyes until June. He will likely have at least four wide receivers ahead of him in the pecking order with Emeka Egbuka, Carnell Tate, Brandon Inniss and Smith expected to lead the room.

Given his five-star talent, Graham could prove during the summer and fall camp that he deserves a spot on the two-deep. But he might need a year before he becomes a staple in the rotation.

Long-Term Impact

With Egbuka entering his final season as a Buckeye, Graham should be a candidate to earn significant playing time by his sophomore season in 2025. While he will still have to prove his worth in a loaded group of wideouts, Graham's speed, acceleration and route-running ability will give him a chance to make some noise as a sophomore and beyond.

Eventually, Graham projects to be a leader of Ohio State’s wide receiver room as a junior and/or senior. He projects to play the Z receiver position primarily, though he has the versatility to move inside and also play slot receiver.

Player Comparison: Garrett Wilson

The No. 2-ranked wide receiver (No. 20 overall) in the 2019 class, Wilson was also among the highest-ranked wide receivers in his class and proved why during his three-year career in Columbus. With his crisp route running and ability to high-point the ball, the 6-foot wideout made an immediate impact as a freshman and his numbers improved every year, culminating with 70 catches for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns during his final season as a Buckeye.

The way analysts have described Graham as a prospect is similar to how Wilson was described as a prospect coming out of Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas, and the comparison between them is one that Graham agrees with.

“Just with his ability to play inside and outside, and then just his quickness ability, he’s real athletic, great hands,” Graham said of how he compares to Wilson.

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