University of Pittsburgh junior running back Ray Graham has been named the Walter Camp Football Foundation's National Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Panthers' 44-17 victory over USF this past Thursday.â†µ
Graham (Elizabeth, N.J./Elizabeth) rushed for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries (8.7 avg.) against previously unbeaten USF. He added four receptions for 42 yards.â†µ
The award could have gone to West Virginia freshman running back Dustin Garrison. Garrison ran for 291 yards on Saturday against Bowling Green. But Graham had more than 300 total yards, including his receiving and kick return yardage, and the fact that his game was against a ranked opponent likely gave him the edge.â†µ
Graham is off to an incredible start and already has 734 rushing yards through five games. That's not only good for first in all of FBS, it's the most any Pitt running back has ever had through five games. Considering the school has seen greats such as Tony Dorsett, Craig Heyward, Curtis Martin, Curvin Richards, Dion Lewis, and Lesean McCoy, among others, that's quite an accomplishment.â†µ
Can Graham contend for the Heisman? It's still a long shot, in my opinion. Dion Lewis finished third in the nation in rushing last year and didn't get so much as a sniff at the award because Pitt only finished 8-5. For Graham to garner any type of consideration, the Panthers likely need to win ten games.