By Ray Hamill — Eureka’s Josiah Graham is taking his game to the collegiate level, and he can thank his teammates for helping him get there.
Graham, an outstanding senior receiver for the Loggers, will play at Shasta College in the fall, joining a perennially tough Knights program.
A scheduled letter signing ceremony was canceled this past week due to the Corona Virus restrictions, but that didn’t take away from the excitement Graham is feeling about the move.
“It just felt like it was the right place for me,” he said. “They’ve got a great program, and it just felt right there. It’s a lot like Eureka. Everyone holds each other accountable.”
And that’s something that has helped him get to where he is today.
“Being around guys like Cruz (Montana) and Tyce (Mullins) and my teammates, they pushed me every day to get better,” Graham said. “They saw something in me.”
So too did Shasta College, with the Knights reaching out to the Loggers senior.
And it should be a perfect fit for the big playmaking receiver, who should get plenty of opportunities playing there.
“They’re a pass first team and they run a lot of spread,” Graham said. “They do a lot of things with their receivers, and that’s something that played a big part in my decision.”
Former Eureka head coach Jason White, who coached Graham for two years, believes he has what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level.
“He’s a playmaker, No. 1,” White said. “And he was responsible for making most of our big plays this year.
“And the kid loves football. He loves to compete. Shasta, I think, has got a real good talent coming there.”
White added that Graham has the intangibles to be very successful, and says he’s the kind of kid that when he focuses on something he can be great at it.
Graham paid tribute to his coaches for helping prepare him for the jump to the college game, especially receivers coach Mo Purify, who will take over as offensive coordinator for next season.
“He’s a guy that I spent a lot of time working with,” Graham said of Purify, who told him Shasta would be a good fit. “And I really trust his opinion.”
Graham joins a Knights team that was 7-4 last fall, qualifying for the Golden State Bowl, where they lost to City College of San Francisco 50-43.
He follows in the footsteps of a number of local players to play at Shasta recently, including St. Bernard’s standout Garrison Roach and Del Norte’s Garret McAlexander, each of whom played the past two seasons there, as well as Fortuna’s Cory Johnson, a freshman with the team in 2019.
And Graham, a three-sport athlete who also played basketball and baseball this year, says his time at Eureka has helped prepare him for college, especially his time playing football.
“I learned that you have to work for whatever you’re trying to do and whatever you want to accomplish,” he said. “And being respectful. That was big for Eureka football.”