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BIO

5 Earnest Graham
  • Running Back
  • 5-9, 215
  • Senior, 4L
  • Fort Myers (Mariner HS)

Was signed by the Tampa Bay Bucaneers.

CAREER: Considered one of Florida's elite running backs, ranks among the best in several school rushing records...33 rushing touchdowns rank third in school history...Ranked fifth with both 3,065 career rushing yards and 603 carries...Ninth in school history with 3,468 all-purpose yards...Nine career 100-yard rushing games ties for fifth in Florida history...Led the 1999 squad in rushing with 654 yards, the 2001 team with 650 yards, the 2002 team with 1,085 yards and ranked second in 2000 with 683 yards...Had 59 catches for 403 yards (6.8 avg.) and no TDs while also completing 1-of-5 passes for three yards and a TD...Played in 44 regular season games with 31 starts for 1,509 plays and also started the 2001 Sugar Bowl and 2002 Orange Bowl...Second-team All-SEC in 2001...Third-Team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News in 1999...SEC All-Freshman Team selection by Coaches and Knoxville News-Sentinel in 1999...Only player in school-history to have three 100-yard rushing games in his career, while averaging 135 yards per bowl game (136 yds. vs. Miami in the 2001 Sugar Bowl; 149 yds. vs. Maryland in the 2002 Orange Bowl; and 120 yds. vs. Michigan in the 2003 Outback Bowl)...136 rushing yards in the 2001 Sugar Bowl ranks as fifth best bowl mark in UF history...Played in first two games of the 1998 season before suffering a foot injury, which sidelined him for the remainder of the season and he received a medical redshirt...Two-time recipient of UF's "Most Outstanding running back" award...

2002: Named to the Doak Walker Award Watch List...Selected to play in the Senior Bowl...Started all 13 games and saw action on a 671 plays, tops of Florida's running backs...1,085 yards rushing most by a Gator since Fred Taylor rushed for 1,292 in 1997...Ranked fourth in the SEC with a team-best 83.5 rushing yards per game...Accounted for almost 60 percent of UF's rushing yardage...Scored 11 of Florida's 20 rushing touchdowns...Was UF's leading rusher in every game but Tennessee...Has four 100-yard rushing games (182 vs. UAB, 102 vs. Kentucky, 125 vs. Vanderbilt and 120 vs. Michigan in the Outback Bowl)...Averaged 102 rushing yards in the final four games...Rushed for 120 yards vs. Michigan in the Outback Bowl and scored UF's first two touchdowns of the game...Rushed for 182 yards vs. UAB, the best opening day rushing performance in school history and tied for 12th best all-time in school history...182 yards rushing vs. UAB was the most since Errict Rhett ran for 196 vs. Auburn in 1993...63 yard run vs. UAB was the longest by a Gator since Eugene McCaslin's 63-yard run vs. Georgia Southern on Sept. 7, 1996...Had two runs over 50 yards for the game (UF has not had two rushing plays over 50 yards in a season since 1995)....32 rush attempts vs. Kentucky tied for sixth best in school history for attempts in a game....

2001: Teamed with Robert Gillespie at tailback...Ranked among the nation's top dozen running backs by The Sporting News in their annual preseason rankings...Named to the Doak Walker Award watch List...Second-team All-SEC (AP)...Started nine of 11 regular season games (all but Auburn which he missed with an ankle injury suffered in the LSU game and Tennessee which he missed with right knee injury suffered versus Florida State) and also started the Orange Bowl...Gators were 10-0 in games which he started in 2001...328 plays on the season...Rushed for a team-high 650 yards on 125 carries (5.2 avg.) with nine touchdowns while also catching 12 passes for 129 yards...Ranked sixth in the SEC in rushing yards per game (average of 72.2)...Led the team in rushing yards with 650...Nine rushing TDs tied for third in the SEC and first on the squad...Ran for a career-high three touchdowns in season opener vs. Marshall (14 rushes for 53 yards)...82 rushing yards and two TDs vs. Louisiana-Monroe...Eleven attempts for 86 yards vs. Kentucky, including a 50-yard TD run...167 yards of total offense vs. Georgia, including 131 yards rushing on 23 carries and 36 yards on three receptions...Rushed for two TDs and 35 yards on nine attempts vs. Vanderbilt...Rushed 16 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns in Orange Bowl victory over Maryland...Won UF's post-season award for "Most Outstanding Running Back"...

2000: Battled Robert Gillespie all season for the top role at tailback...Named the squad's most outstanding running back for the 2000 season...Played in all 12 regular season games with three starts (Middle Tennessee, Kentucky and the SEC Championship versus Auburn) for 337 plays...Also started the 2001 Nokia Sugar Bowl...Season Stats: 121 rushes for 676 yards (5.6 average) with eight TDs and 19 catches for 144 yards...Ranked second on squad in rushing with 676 yards and 19 catches ranked fourth best on team...Led the team with eight rushing touchdowns...Ran for a combined 305 yards in the team's final two games (SEC Championship Game and the Nokia Sugar Bowl)...Rushed for 85 yards on 12 carries, scored two touchdowns and had one reception for seven yards vs. Middle Tennessee...Led team with 128 yards rushing on 14 carries versus Kentucky, including a career-long 57-yard TD run...Career-high seven receptions for 63 yards versus Florida State, including a career-long 20-yard reception...Rushed for a career-high 169 yards against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game...Ran for 136 yards on 15 carries with one TD against Miami in the Sugar Bowl, the fifth best bowl rushing performance in UF history...Received the offensive unit's most responsible award at the conclusion of spring drills...

1999: Third-Team Freshman All-America selection by The Sporting News...SEC All-Freshman Team selection by Coaches and Knoxville News-Sentinel...Played in nine of 12 games (all but Alabama, LSU and Auburn) with seven starts (Western Michigan, Central Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida State and Alabama (SEC Championship Game)...UF's starting tailback until sidelined with a thigh injury early in week four game vs. Kentucky, which forced him to miss the rest of that game and the entire Alabama, LSU and Auburn games...Returned to play against Georgia...Three 100-yard rushing games (158 yards vs. Western Michigan, 124 yards vs. Vanderbilt and 105 yards vs. South Carolina)...117 carries for 654 yards (5.60 avg.) and five touchdowns...654 yards rushing led team...Rushed for 158 yards on 19 carries (8.3 avg.) and two touchdowns (11 and four yards) vs. Western Michigan in his first career start...158 yards vs. Western Michigan ranked as the second-best total for a freshman in the Spurrier era and the fourth-best performance by a freshman in his first career start in school history...Rushed for 65 yards and one touchdown (three yards) on 11 carries vs. UCF...Rushed for 85 yards on 19 carries (4.5) vs. Tennessee...Rushed for three yards on one carry vs. Kentucky before suffering a deep thigh bruise, which sidelined him for the rest of that game and the Alabama, LSU and Auburn games...Rushed for 46 yards on eight carries vs. Georgia in first game back from thigh injury...Rushed for 124 yards and one touchdown (nine yards) on 16 carries vs. Vanderbilt...Rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown (four yards) on 24 carries vs. South Carolina...Rushed for 27 yards on nine carries, had two receptions for nine yards and threw for one touchdown (three yards) vs. Alabama (SEC Championship Game)...Co-recipient of UF's Most Improved Running Back Award during spring...

1998: Played in first two games before suffering foot injury against Northeast Louisiana...Underwent surgery on Sept. 14 and missed the rest of the season...Received a medical redshirt...Rushed for 20 yards on six carries prior to injury...

PREP: One of the nation's premier prep running backs in 1997 who garnered extensive All-America honors...Florida's "Mr. Football" for class 6A schools in 1997...Named to prestigious Parade All-America Team...USA Today second-team All-America selection...Named to National Bluechips Recruiting Service's All-America Team and that publication ranked him as the top prospect in the nation in its "I- Formation Tailback" category...Received prep All-America honors from National Recruiting Advisor and was ranked among the top two prospects at fullback by that publication...Named to SuperPrep All-America Team and that publication ranked him among the top dozen running backs in the nation...Ranked among the nation's top 55 overall players by The Sporting News...Named to Florida's prestigious Super Seniors Team...Rushed for 5,710 yards over course of outstanding prep career, the fifth-top total in state history, including over 4,000 total yards in his final two seasons...As a senior rushed for 1,858 yards on 229 carries with 29 TDs despite missing two games and rushed for 2,159 yards and 33 TDs as a junior...High school coach was Mike Vogt...

PERSONAL: Born Earnest Graham Jr. on January 15, 1980 in Naples, Florida... Individual admires most is mother, "she kept me grounded and showed me how to work hard." She's had four serious back surgeries since 1990 and has been forced to re-learn how to walk. She hasn't missed many of his games even when Earnest has urged her to stay at home to rest... Wears a t-shirt with a poem he penned under his game jersey in tribute to his friend Corey Jordan, who died of an accidental gun shot wound on August 27, 1997... Tries to model his game after Emmitt Smith because his running style is the same...Marshall Faulk is his favorite NFL running back, he admires him for his versatility... Favorite class at UF was Psychology...Enjoys playing cards, fishing and reading in his spare time...Eats gummi bears prior to every game...Favorite sports personality is Jim Brown...Parents: Earnest Graham, Sr. and Sandra Smith...

Major: Leisure Service Management.


CAREER RUSHING STATISTICS
YEAR ATT YDS AVG. TD LONG
1999 117 654 5.6 5 35
2000 121 676 5.6 8 57
2001 125 650 5.2 9 50
2002 240 1,085 4.5 11 63
Totals 603 3,065 5.1 33 63
CAREER RECEIVING STATISTICS
YEAR NO YDS AVG TD LONG
1999 6 37 6.2 0 15
2000 19 144 7.6 0 27
2001 12 129 10.8 0 40
2002 22 93 4.2 0 12
Totals 59 403 6.8 0 40
CAREER ALL-PURPOSE YARDS
YEAR RUSH REC TOT
1999 654 37 691
2000 676 144 820
2001 650 129 779
2002 1,085 93 1,178
Totals 3,065 403 3,368

CAREER HIGHS:
Yards Rushing: 182 (UAB, 2002)
Rushing Attempts: 32 (Kentucky, 2002)
Rushing TDs: 3 (Marshall, 2001)
Receiving Yards: 63 (FSU, 2000)
Receptions: 7 (FSU, 2000)
Receiving TD: --

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