Name: Derrick “Rodeo” Graham
Height & Weight: 5’11”-190 lbs
Team: Woodlawn Middle (Baton Rouge, La)
Getting to know Derrick “Rodeo” Graham
Miami, Fl- It’s always a first time for everything, this is Generation NexXt first time featuring an athlete from the state of Louisiana. When it’s the first you must make sure it’s special and this young man is just that on and off the field. With so much going on in the world so many things to easily distract you, I met this humble mild mannered respectful kid from Louisiana. I had the unique pleasure of watching this kid compete at Hotbeds Middle School combine in front of the University of Miami staff. That kid name is Derrick “Rodeo” Graham at the time he was only a 7th grader but a physical specimen that stood 5’11” & 175 lbs with not an ounce of fat. This young man left a last impression on me, so I kept in contact and learned so much more about this kid outside of sports.
When you meet a kid, Rodeos age whose extra curricula activities include National Honor Society and Beta Club as well as volunteering at his school pitching in helping his community. I was also really impressed by the strong family values instill in Rodeo it symbolized that his family was setting him up to be far more than an athlete. But wait I’m not done yet I asked him “What motivates him at his age to be focus on the bigger picture?” His reply was "My spiritual strength is what gives me the ability to excel at all my endeavors" that scripture was taught to me at Greater Pearlie Grove Missionary Baptist Church. “That reply let me know all I needed to know about this young phenom from the Bayou state. Now on another note this multitalented kid participates in basketball & track and loves vacationing with family and riding & training horses. Rodeo received his name because of his love for riding horses. His love for roping has led him to the title of amateur team roper. With such a glowing resume as a 14-year-old it’s not hard to get ahead of yourself and say this young man is well on his way to a bright future on and off the field.
There are a lot of running backs where it’s said that they can do it all. With Derrick “Rodeo” Graham, there is nothing hyperbolic about that statement. He is great at just about everything he does and should be an outstanding player on the next level. Rodeo has very good, and some might say elite speed. His lateral agility is outstanding. Some of his cuts look like he is in the Matrix and everyone else is just a regular human. He has good size but runs bigger than the 175 pounds he weights right now. Overall, he has good vision and shows great potential as an inside runner. He is tough to bring down and will lower his pad level to run through tackles. He has a very strong lower body and good balance after contact.
He’s not someone who is trying to run through every tackler, though. His ability to make people miss in the open field really stands out. He has such great feet and he cuts without losing much speed at all. He moves so well laterally.
I said some may say he has elite speed and I believe that to be the case, but at the same time, he does seem to get stronger with his stride than his initial burst. He runs away from people when you don’t he will.
He is a good option out the backfield as a receiver and should be great on screens at the next level. Rodeo has the potential to be one of the best backs in the Class of 2022 and possibly the best in the nation