Jimmy Graham born November 24, 1986 and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina is an American football tight end for the New Orleans Saints of the NFL. He played six months (13 games) of college football at the University of Miami. He was considered one of the top tight end prospects for the 2010 NFL Draft.
Graham had a difficult upbringing, at age 11 he was placed in a group home where he was physically beaten by older children. In high school, with help from a church youth counselor who took him into her home, he improved his grades, became a basketball star in his senior year of high school and earned a basketball scholarship to the University of Miami.
Averaged 18 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks per game as a junior en route to team MVP, conference MVP and all-state honors. He Averaged 20.7 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game as a senior.
Graham played basketball for the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team from 2005 to 2009. Graham graduated from Miami in May 2009 with a double major in marketing and management and was honored at his 2009 graduation ceremony by President Donna Shalala. Graham stayed at University of Miami to take graduate classes while playing a season of football. He played tight end and finished the season with 17 receptions for 213 yards and five touchdowns.
Graham was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, with the 95th overall selection. He signed a four-year contract on July 28, 2010.
In 2011, his first year a starter, Graham was selected to appear in his first Pro Bowl. That honor capped off a year that saw him set or tie many Saints records while on his way to surpassing an NFL record. During the Saints week 17 win over the Carolina Panthers, Graham passed Kellen Winslow’s NFL record of 1,290 receiving yards in a season by a tight end. His season total of 1,310 receiving yards was the 4th most in Saints history for a receiver. Graham led all tight ends in the NFL and set a Saints single-season record for a receiver with 99 receptions. He also tied the Saints single-season record for receiving touchdowns with 11. The New Orleans Saints players voted tight end Jimmy Graham as the 2011 recipient of the team’s Ed Block Courage Award, which recognizes players who overcome adversity.