Graham Harrell Now Packers' Third String QB: Who Is He, and What Does This Mean?
I know the Packers' third string quarterback is not the first thing you are itching to get a hot read on.
If the third string quarterback just so happens to be a college superstar like Graham Harrell, you may be slightly more intrigued by what's going on deep in the Packer quarterback depth chart.
It is no secret that Aaron Rodgers is going to be the longtime starter of the Green Bay Packers. Matt Flynn has had the second slot pretty well secured for some time now without anyone really fighting to take the spot from him.
Chris Pizzotti was a decent player with a brilliant mind. The Harvard graduate just had a hard time making the two mix together and has been released to make room for Harrell.
Let me explain why a guy that will probably never take the field as a Packer has me all jumbled up on the inside.
Harrell attended Ennis High School in Ennis, Texas. The coach of the team was and is currently Sam Harrell, Graham's father and the most prestigious, highest paid high school football coach in the state of Texas.
Even at this early point in his career Harrell was already chasing down records. In 2003 Harrell broke the Texas high school passing yards record with 4,825 yards in 15 games. The guys in the two and three spot had fewer yards in 16 games. Harrell's record stood until it was beaten in 2007 by only two yards in a 16-game season.
Harrell also held the Texas high school career passing yards record with 12,532, which was broken again by only two yards. Both times his records were broken by Garrett Gilbert, a current rising star.
Harrell also holds the record for single-season touchdowns with 67 and career touchdowns with 167. Harrell at one time held the record for single-season completions with 334.
This was broken by Gilbert, who had 339 completions, barely breaking Harrell's five-year-standing record. Keep in mind Gilbert had exactly one more game than Harrell, which has allowed him to narrowly break these records.
Basically, Harrell was the best high school football player in his time and was coached by his father, the best Texas high school football coach.
Harrell went on to college at Texas Tech, where he continued his record-crushing career.
In two consecutive seasons at Texas Tech, Harrell threw for over 5,000 yards, which is an NCAA record. He also tied Colt Brennan's record of 147 college career touchdowns and broke the passing touchdown record of 131 with 134 touchdowns.
Harrell is also still ranked No. 2 in the all-time NCAA record books for total passing yards in a college career.
Harrell also showed us Favre-like strength and willpower when he went into the locker room at half time with two broken fingers against Baylor at the end of 2008.
He was advised not to play; however, he simply asked for tape on his fingers. He went on to the field and threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns to secure the win.
The following day in surgery, Harrell had nine pins placed in his fingers but was cleared to play in the bowl game, a game earned in the win against Baylor.
Harrell went undrafted in the 2009 NFL draft. He was invited to rookie camp in Cleveland and attended. Instead of staying with the Browns, Harrell signed a two-year contract to become a CFL quarterback.
Just recently, in January of this year, Harrell accepted a coaching job at Oklahoma State University. With his CFL release in April of this month, Harrell was available to play in the NFL.
Harrell, a man with coaching bred into him and the sport of football in his blood, has been picked up by the Green Bay Packers as a quarterback. I am under the impression that Harrell fully intends to remain on the coaching staff at Oklahoma State while maintaining his abilities on the field through the Packer rookie camp.
What does this mean for the team? Well, Harrell can now offer competition to make himself and Flynn better players all around. I believe Harrell knows the sport of football much better than nearly every young player on the team. Insight like this from one young player to another young player can prove to be extremely productive.
Perhaps the Packers groom Harrell only to trade him in the next few years to receive higher draft picks. Hopefully we will be at the butt end of upcoming drafts, which would make this extremely desirable. Perhaps Harrell earns the second string spot, giving us a record-destroying backup weapon to Rodgers.
The last possibility is that Harrell is being groomed as a coach. He was the biggest name on the 2008 AFCA Coaches' All-American Team. Like I mentioned before, he was raised by one of the best high school football coaches ever. Now he is working at Oklahoma State as a coach. Perhaps Harrell is the future face that runs the Packers' quarterback school.
Any way that the Packers decide to use Harrell, he will surely work out great in the end. He is an excellent young football player who makes the future of this franchise shine just that much brighter.
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