Alfonzo Graham: A tale of two positions

Baltimore Native Alfonzo Graham is prepared to play at the next level.


Photo by Michael DeMocker/ NFL LCC

Alfonzo Graham at the HBCU Legacy Bowl on February 25, 2023.

Raven Roberts, Staff Writer

Senior Alfonzo Graham, Morgan State Football’s 22-23 leading rusher, recently attended the 2023 HBCU Legacy Bowl and HBCU Legacy Combine, two more steps toward his NFL dreams.

This season, Graham led the MEAC and etched himself in the record book with 1,150 rushing yards, the sixth most rushing yards in a single season by a Bear. But his 5 feet 8 inches, 182-pound frame has led to some debate over his potential position at the next level.

“I think this is a day where he better enjoy those carries. I think he’s headed towards slot receiver and I think it’d be a good spot for him,” said NFL reporter Steve Wyche during the Legacy Bowl.

“I prepared myself to move to slot receiver or be a running back in the NFL, so anything that can help the team for the next level I’m willing to do,” Graham said. “I feel great about [the possibility of] changing positions.”

His coaches share a similar sentiment. When asked what position Graham would be best at, Damon Wilson, Bears football head coach responded, “on the field with the ball in his hands,” alluding to Graham’s ability to excel in either position.

“I know a lot of people want to move his position because of his size, but he’ll be able to do whatever they ask him to do,” said B.T. Sherman, Bears offensive coordinator. “He can run and he has good ball skills and he’s good in space. So, you know whether they want to start him in space or put him at running back so he can get the space, he’ll be fine,” Sherman said.

It seems to be a consensus view that Graham can hold his own both in the backfield and in the slot.

“I think he has great hands dating back to his junior college days,” said Seahawks reporter Maliik Obee. “His athleticism made Graham a true threat out of the backfield and he showed his receiving abilities in New Orleans.”

“I would love to see Graham stay at running back depending on the situation but I 100% believe he has the receiving chops to be a real threat in the slot,” Obee continued. “I think he has league potential but I’d love to see him go to the USFL, XFL, CFL this year and get a chance to show his versatility immediately,” he said.

The HBCU Legacy Bowl was founded by Doug Williams and James “Shack” Harris, two HBCU greats. The second annual game was packed with NFL, USFL, CFL, and XFL scouts and had 31 of the 32 NFL teams in attendance.

“I learned a lot of things… being around HBCU legends. It was a great experience,” Graham said. Graham was among three Morgan football players invited to the Legacy Bowl, including offensive lineman Chris Anthony and tight end Myles Wright. At the Legacy Combine, Graham was one of 47 attendees and the only Bear in attendance.

“Him [Graham] having an opportunity to participate in the HBCU Legacy Bowl was definitely a well-deserved honor and I think he represented the university pretty well,” said Wilson, head coach.

The Baltimore native’s career included stops at Arizona Western College, Independence Community College, and Fullerton College before making his way back to Baltimore as a walk-on at Morgan State.

“It was just a blessing for me to come back and show the city that it doesn’t matter where you come from, just put the work in and be consistent. You can have a chance,” Graham said.

He says his journey has taught him to adapt to different environments and play styles but he’s thankful for his time at Morgan. “It made me a better man,” he said.

Graham is focused on finishing his degree in liberal arts and sharpening his skill set ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft, beginning Thursday, April 27.