Luke Graham was returning from a Penn-Trafford High School prom function on Sunday morning when he received a phone call from Penn State assistant coach Tom Bradley.
The timing might have seemed inopportune, but, for Graham, it was just right.
"I told him 'I'll give you a call in a couple of days,''' Graham said. "I called him back [Monday afternoon] and asked him if he knew why I was calling. He said he thought he had a pretty good idea.''
Graham, Penn-Trafford's athletic 6-foot-5, 265-pound two-way lineman, was calling Bradley to let him know he was becoming the fifth member of the Nittany Lions' 2010 recruiting class, and the third commitment in five days.
Graham's reasoning was why didn't put off until tomorrow what he could do today.
"I just thought they had a great class coming in, and I wanted to be a part of it,'' said Graham, who joins four four-star-or-better prospects, including fellow WPIAL stars Mike Hull and P.J. Jones. "That's where my heart's always been. I decided to do it now rather than just thinking about it and doing it anyway later.''
Graham had 12 written scholarship offers. Pitt, Virginia, Stanford and Maryland comprised the rest of his top five at the time of his commitment.
He said Penn State's told him he'll play either guard or center.
T.J. Wiley, son of former Clearfield High coach John Wiley, took over at Penn-Trafford in early January and was swamped from the very start by colleges interested in Graham. He wasn't surprised, though.
"He has everything top college football programs look for. He has room to put on 20-30 pounds of good weight. I could seem him coming back in a couple of years looking like a man at 305 pounds,'' Wiley said. "I've never seen a kid at this level with his combination of size and athleticism. He ran a 4.8 [actually a 4.84] at a Scout.com combine.
"He's a specimen.''
Graham has always been pulled back and forth between football and basketball. His father, Mike, played basketball at Penn State-McKeesport before moving to the main campus. The younger Graham didn't play football his eighth grade year to focus on basketball before eventually making football his priority.
"[Basketball] helped me tremendously with speed to guard a point guard or a wing and then having to defend a power forward,'' Luke Graham said.
Graham is an avid weightlifter and is out for track for the first time this spring, throwing the shot 52 feet.
The biggest question for those following recruiting has centered around Graham's weight, or lack of it. It dropped during basketball season but is now back on the climb.
"He's working to get it back on. He eats five or six sandwiches for lunch,'' Wiley said. "I've never seen that kind of build on a kid that height.''
Graham is the first lineman committed to Penn State for 2010. The Lions are expected to sign around 18 recruits in this class.