Torey Graham has been playing football since he was a child when he grew up in the Tomball, Texas neighborhood of Hufsmith. In 2004, his father took him aside to help teach him the fundamentals to get him ready to play in his first season. His father was a strong figure in his life so nothing could prepare him for a Saturday evening when he was 7 years old and was running around with kids in the neighborhood playing catch.
“All of a sudden we hear a car burn off, and we heard people yelling followed by 7 gunshots.” They were scared so they ran off to their houses and had no idea what was going on. That night his uncle stopped by and took Torey and his brother to another family member’s house. They were sat down in the living room as their uncle explained that their father had been shot and killed. Torey was stunned as he spent that night at his uncle’s house.
Torey was devastated and a couple of weeks after the funeral he quit football as his heart just wasn’t in it anymore. That is until the 7th grade when his cousins convinced him to play with them on a Select team. It was extremely traumatic for Torey as football is something his father and him shared. If you have been through any kind of grief it can be difficult to go back around events and places that remind you of that person because they can trigger deep emotions.
Torey felt angry that his father was taken away from him. He learned how to transfer that anger into his playing and took an edge to the field. By the middle of the 7th grade season he was asked to play up a grade. He wrote his dad’s name on his wrist tape and went on the field on a mission to dominate that grade as well. Torey found his father in the game of football. It made him feel like his father was close to him on the field.
Torey hit another wave of trials in high school as he suffered several injuries and he felt like he couldn’t win. Going into his senior year, he tore ligamements in his knee and he had to sit out summer workouts. This threw off the rest of his season and he felt far from where he wanted to be so he prayed and kept his head up.
Torey received a call that he would have a shot playing semi-pro football. Torey took his shot and made it to the all-star game as a reserve. He then refocused his goals and wanted to make history. At 18 years old, he went to a professional football combine and was a top 5 defensive lineman there.
This gave him confidence so he decided to keep grinding. He wants people to know that it’s important to be prepared to dominate because you never know when your opportunity will present itself.
Torey has been overlooked by many teams because of his age but is pushing to create that opportunity. Torey is a weapon on both sides of the ball and has a high football IQ. He is coachable and hungry. Torey has been able to overcome many obstacles and believes that’s it’s a process. “It’s just a Minor Setback for a Major Comeback.”
You can follow Torey on Facebook: Torey Graham