High school football: Lawton MacArthur's Darius Graham known for optimism, work ethic

SUPER 30 — Lawton MacArthur's Darius Graham still thinks about the Highlanders' 2011 season, when they came short in the state title game against Guthrie. But he believes his team has a shot again this year.
BY RJ YOUNG Staff Writer ryoung@opubco.com Modified: July 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm •  Published: July 13, 2012
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photo - Lawton MacArthur's Darius Graham (26)  runs past Brian Carr (2) of Ardmore on the way to a touchdown during a high school football playoff Class 5A semifinal game between Lawton MacArthur and Ardmore in Yukon., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Lawton MacArthur's Darius Graham (26) runs past Brian Carr (2) of Ardmore on the way to a touchdown during a high school football playoff Class 5A semifinal game between Lawton MacArthur and Ardmore in Yukon., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Lawton MacArthur's Darius Graham wanted the 2011 Class 5A state title.

He'd dreamed about what it would mean to him and his community to win the school's first state championship for football.

Graham, No. 9 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list, racked up 1,492 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns during last season to help the Highlanders reach the finals against Guthrie, but Lawton MacArthur came up short.

“I felt that that was Mac's year,” Graham said. “The first team at MacArthur football to win state — I was ready for the feeling. I think they just outplayed us. We didn't come to play.”

Since then, Graham has committed to working hard during the offseason in the hopes of reaching the state championship game in his final season at Lawton MacArthur.

Graham said he doesn't like to lose but took solace in knowing he and the Highlanders were good enough to compete for the gold ball — and could again.

“I learned to always finish what I start,” he said. “Whenever adversity comes our way, we just fight through it.”

Optimism.

That's one of the many reasons Lawton MacArthur coach Brett Manning believes Graham is an outstanding athlete and a leader in the locker room.



The Oklahoman's Super 30

The Oklahoman's Super 30 feature series on the state's top football recruits continues with No. 9, Lawton MacArthur running back Darius Graham. Here are the last three players we've written about in the series:

No. 12: Dominique Alexander, Tulsa Washington

No. 11: Jordan Smallwood, Jenks

No. 10: Kimmie Carson, Tulsa East Central

Up next: Meet No. 8 on the Super 30 list, a dangerous linebacker with 113 tackles on a state semifinal team a season ago. He's a predator, at least according to his Twitter handle. Find out who he is in Sunday's Oklahoman.

No. 9: Darius Graham

School: Lawton MacArthur

Height: 6-1

Weight: 210 pounds

Position: Running back

Offers: Louisiana Tech, Southern Methodist with interest from Georgia, Houston, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Tulsa.

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