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Jay Graham
Position: Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
Alma Mater: Tennessee '04
Experience: 3 Years

• Jay Graham enters his third season at Florida State in 2015, and second as both the running backs coach and special teams coordinator. The former All-SEC and NFL running back has coached the running backs all three seasons at Florida State, including current NFL players Karlos Williams (Buffalo Bills), Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons) and James Wilder Jr. (Cincinnati Bengals).

• Williams was selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2015 Draft, completing an impressive transition from safety to running back under the guidance of Graham. Freeman was a fourth-round selection by the Falcons in 2014 and is expected to compete for the starting job this fall. Wilder enters his second season with the Bengals after signing with the club as a free agent in 2014.

• Graham also coached South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who posted consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, before being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

• A native of Concord, N.C., Graham was a standout All-SEC running back from 1993-96 at Tennessee, rushing for 2,609 yards and totaling 14 career 100-yard games. Graham earned All-SEC second team honors as both a junior and a senior and helped the Vols to three bowl victories.

• Following his successful career at Tennessee, Graham was a third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 1997. He spent six seasons in the NFL with Baltimore, Seattle, and Green Bay.

• Graham has spent ten years coaching, including three seasons in the SEC at South Carolina and two at his alma mater Tennessee, where he was one of the most productive rushers in the history of the Volunteers. He began his coaching career in 2005 as a graduate assistant with the Vols before returning in 2012 as the running backs coach.

• Graham has lost just one game since joining the Seminoles in 2013, guiding the Seminoles to 27 consecutive victories to open his career with Florida State. Over that time, the Seminoles have had two running backs drafted to the NFL, while 2014’s leading rusher Dalvin Cook became the first Seminole freshman to gain over 1,000 yards in a season.

• Thanks to a limited work load early in the season, Cook was his strongest in the Seminoles biggest games of 2014, gaining over 100 yards in the final three games of the season against in-state rival Florida (144), Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship (177), and Oregon in the Rose Bowl (103). He finished with eight rushing touchdowns on the season, including two each in big second-half comebacks against Louisville (9 rushes for 110 yards) and Miami (7-92). Cook joined Freeman as 1,000-yard rushers under Graham, the first Seminoles since Warrick Dunn in 1996 to accomplish the feat.

• Graham also did a fantastic job in his first season as FSU’s special teams coordinator. Kicker Roberto Aguayo collected consensus All-America honors, while drilling 27 of 30 field goals and making all 55 of his extra points. Punter Cason Beatty had the best season of his career, averaging 41.0 yards per punt on a career-best 48 attempts. He had 15 of his punts downed inside the 20.

• Graham oversaw the conversion of Williams from defensive back to running back in 2013, a move that saw Williams rack up 22 rushing touchdowns and finish ninth on the Seminoles all-time list before joining the NFL.

• Graham’s first year of work at Florida State resulted in a tremendous ground attack that helped the Seminoles go undefeated (14-0) and have one of the most productive offenses in college football history, as the Seminoles set an FBS record for points in a season (723). Graham was influential in the continued progression of Freeman. Freeman registered 1,016 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, while Williams broke through with 730 yards rushing and added 11 scores as he averaged an astounding eight yards per carry. Rounding out the tremendous trio was Wilder Jr., who totaled 563 yards and eight scores while averaging seven yards per tote. FSU set a school record with 42 rushing touchdowns.

• In Graham’s first season guiding the FSU rushing attack, Florida State piled up 2,844 yards on the ground and a 5.6 yards per carry average. The Noles’ yards per carry matched the 2012 team’s proficient average and is tied for the highest in a season since the 1995 team averaged 5.8 yards per rush.

• Graham’s influence on both the kickoff return and kickoff coverage units in 2013 cannot be understated. Working with Charles Kelly, Florida State finished first in the nation averaging 28.2 yards per kickoff return, and wound up 16th nationally allowing just 18.6 yards per kickoff return. Kermit Whitfield emerged as the nation’s top kick returner, leading the country and setting the ACC record with 36.4 yards per return while finishing tied for second with two kickoff return TD’s.

• Throughout the majority of his coaching career, Graham has worked with running backs. His first full-time position in 2006 was as the running backs coach at Chattanooga. He went on to coach the backs at San Diego, UT-Martin, Miami (Ohio) and South Carolina and then back at his alma mater, Tennessee.

• In just one year in Knoxville under Graham’s guidance, the Vols more than doubled their rushing output from 70.4 yards per game in 2011 to 160.3 yards per game in 2012.

• Prior to his success in Tennessee, Graham tutored Lattimore while with the Gamecocks. Lattimore was on pace to become the first South Carolina rusher to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the school since Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final five games.

• Overall, Graham has coached and played in eight bowl games during his career.

• Graham and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of three daughters, Nia, Denae and Kierra, and two sons, Jayson and Kellan.

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