Jimmy Graham, who reportedly had a difficult childhood marred by physical abuse in a group home, persevered and worked hard enough to earn himself a basketball scholarship at the University of Miami.
After four successful seasons of basketball with the Canes, Graham graduated with a degree in both marketing and business.
Graham only ventured onto the football field when he began taking graduate classes at Miami the following year, and after a standout season in which he scored 5 touchdowns on just 17 receptions, Graham decided to enter the NFL Draft.
The Saints, who over the past few years have been experts at drafting late round sleepers (see: Marques Colston, Hofstra University, 7th Round, 2006), struck gold again when they drafted Jimmy Graham late in the 3rd round of the 2010 NFL Draft, 95th overall.
Graham’s 6-6, 280 pound frame certainly made this a more attractive pick for the Saints.
He did not make an immediate impact on the Saints offense in the 2010 season, as he was playing behind both Jeremy Shockey and David Thomas.