Florida legend rips program for how they treated his recruit son

Earlier this week, four-star recruit Myles Graham revealed his intentions to follow in his father’s footsteps when he announced his commitment to the Florida Gators.

But his father, Florida football legend Earnest Graham, apparently was not pleased with the way his son was treated during his recruitment process. The elder Graham suggested that a “new levels of disconnect” within the football program impacted the way his son was recruited.

“No calls, no communication and the driest experience imaginable. I’m just going to START there,” Graham said in a social media post.

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Running back Earnest Graham #5 of the Florida Gators runs with the ball during the Southeastern Conference football game against the Kentucky Wildcats on September 28, 2002 at Florida Field in Gainesville, Florida.  The Gators won 41-34. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Earnest was a running back for the Gators from 1998-2002. He finished his standout college football career with more than 3,000 rushing yards and received all-SEC honors. He was also included on the SEC All-Freshman team following his impressive first year playing at Florida.

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Graham went undrafted in 2003, but eventually signed with the Tampa Bay Buccanears. He finished his eight-year NFL career with 2,047 rushing yards.

Earnest Graham carries the football during a Florida Gators game

Running Back Earnest Graham #5 of Florida carries the ball against Ohio during the NCAA football game at Florida Field in Gainesville, Florida on September 14, 2002.  The Florida Gators defeated the Ohio Bobcats 34-6.  (Andy Lyons /Getty Images)

Graham’s frustration with his former team likely stems from the departure of a key assistant coach. Jay Bateman, who served as the Gators inside linebackers coach last season, was recently named the defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. 

Bateman joins Mike Elko’s staff. Elko made the decision last month to leave Duke and take the job in College Station, Texas, replacing Jimbo Fisher. Elko spent four years as defensive coordinator with the Aggies before taking his first head coaching job at Duke.

A Florida Gators helmet

A Florida Gators helmet sits on the sideline during the football game between the Florida Gators and Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field on November 5, 2022 in College Station, Texas. (Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The younger Graham is a linebacker and would likely would have been coached by Bateman if the coach remained with the Aggies for the 2024 season. Nevertheless, Bateman seems to have been involved in recruiting Graham to Florida.

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The former Gators running back appears to feel as though his family was left in the dark on Bateman’s departure, while also perhaps wanting more communication on a variety of other situations. 

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