Share “OSU football: Parker Graham is offensive...”

OSU football: Parker Graham is offensive line's Mr. Versatile

No one exemplifies versatility more than Graham. He's lined up at every spot on the line at some point in his career.
By Gina Mizell Published: August 21, 2013

Not bad for a guy who only played tackle (and, briefly, some tight end) at Webb City (Mo.) High School.

But when Graham arrived at OSU in 2009, learning how to play anywhere on the line was not his biggest adjustment. It was learning how to pass block.

His high school ran a split-back veer offense, an option system made famous by Bill Yeoman at Houston in the 1960s and 70s, and passed about once a game, Graham estimates.

Not exactly OSU's formula for moving the football, particularly when the Cowboys switched to the Air Raid spread in 2010.

Graham admits he got “knocked on (his) butt” a bunch early in his career as he picked up the proper technique. But throughout his career, he's bulked up to 315 pounds to go with his towering height of 6-7 and solid athleticism. And now he's the most experienced Cowboy offensive lineman, entering 2013 with 18 starts.

Wickline insists that it's not a completely daunting task to play multiple positions, which is why he demands that versatility from his players. Graham admits it can feel awkward at first, particularly when switching sides, but that it was easy to quickly teach is mind and body how to flip back and forth.

When asked where he lined up during Saturday's final scrimmage of fall camp, Graham mentioned both guard and tackle. No big surprise there.

So now that he's gotten a taste of every offensive line spot, does he have a preference?

“It's fun to do both things,” Graham said. “Tackle, you get to be out on the edge and be more athletic. Guard, you can just go in there and get nasty with somebody (inside).

“I've got things I like about both, but in the end, I'll just play wherever Coach needs me to play.”