If it were up to Robbie Graham he’d have the football in his hands every single offensive play.

No one can’t blame him, though. The mentality of a former quarterback never really disappears.

Graham, Fairmont State University’s senior wide receiver, however, has adjusted to change. And quite nicely thank you.

The 5-7, 165-pound speedster from Gaithersburg, Md. went to Bryant University out of high school. The NCAA Division II school is located in Smithfield, R.I. and is a member of the Northeast-10 Conference. There Graham played quarterback for the Bulldogs. The next year he was moved to running back and receiver and the following season he made a move himself to Fairmont State.

“You can’t help but like playing quarterback because all eyes are on you and you get to handle the ball every play and you’re involved in every play,” said Graham. “To tell the truth I do miss it at times, but I’m needed here as a receiver. We’ve got who I feel are a couple of good quarterbacks in John (Rahl), who is up and coming, and Willie (McGee), who has done a great job from the spring until now. My chance to make the biggest contribution is at receiver. You get in where you fit in, ya know.”

Graham has certainly fit in nicely at receiver and as a kick returner for the Falcons. After sitting out the entire 2004 season after transferring from Bryant, Graham led FSU in receiving last fall with 37 catches for 446 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers aren’t earth shattering by any means, but given the fact that FSU played four different quarterbacks last season due to injuries and, at times, had problems getting the ball vertically down the field they were solid.

This season Graham and the rest of the FSU receivers have their sights set on much more production and a more productive Falcon offense should only lead to more success for the team in terms of wins.

“I think we’re finally solid at quarterback and I like that a lot,” said Graham. “John is still young and he’s learning with every practice and every game. He’s only going to get better. He’s a good athlete and he has a very strong arm. You can run a 70-yard route and he has the ability to overthrow you. You gotta love that. It teaches you to never give up on a route.

“Willie, on the other hand, is a great decision maker. Now that’s not saying John isn’t because he’s a good decision maker too, but Willie is very solid and smart. The good news for us as a team is that we’ve got two good, solid quarterbacks now. I’m just sad I’m a senior. I wish I had two more years to play.”

In just five college games Rahl has thrown for 1,055 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s surpassed the 200-yard mark in passing in four of his five college starts.

In FSU’s season-opening 26-9 loss to Cal, Rahl threw for 247 yards and connected with eight different receivers. His main target was Graham, who had a team-high six receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

“I think we showed in the opener that we can spread the ball around and we’ve got a lot of different guys who can catch it,” said Graham. “I don’t know if you could say I’m the ‘go-to’ receiver or not. If I am I’ll take the label and go with it, but I know I’ve got a good complement of guys around me in Pat (McClintic), Jewells (Alan Jewell) and Tony (Sotelo), who I think is going to give us a real nice threat at tight end over the middle this year.

“The other good thing is that if people get too concerned with those of us at receiver we’ve got Wendell Johnson in the backfield who is a threat. I think we’ve got a nice combination on offense this year and we’re anxious to get back on the field Saturday and play.”

Graham and the Falcons will visit North Greenville University Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game at Younts Stadium in Tigerville, S.C. Both teams enter the contest 0-1.

“Our goal first and foremost is to win,” said Graham, who is majoring in graphics/fine arts at FSU. “As for me personally I have some individual goals, but basically I just want to have fun. Some guys approach playing this game like a job and in a way it is, but I also believe you’ve got to have fun doing what you do to excel.

“For me it’s like I’m playing on the playground when I’m on the field. I’m kind of loosey-goosey out there and some people may not agree with that, but I’m young and why not have fun doing what you enjoy doing.”

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