Outside the Huddle and Blitz are counting down who they feel are the top 50 individual players in northeast Indiana heading into the 2022 season.
Our highest preseason honor, the fourth-annual First Eleven profiles the top players (in the mind of Outside the Huddle) entering this fall.
No. 8: Athlete Luke Graft, senior, Norwell
As versatile of a player as there is anywhere in the area, Graft fills a multitude of different roles for the Knights.
Need a running back? He rushed for over 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021.
Receiver? Graft hauled in 13 receptions for three touchdowns last year.
Linebacker? Defensive back? Graft can be moved all over the back two levels of the Norwell defense. He was third on the team with 65 tackles a season ago and second in sacks. He also picked off a pass, recovered a fumble and scored a defensive touchdown.
There is a ton to like in Graft’s game, but what stands out the most to Outside the Huddle is how visually acute he is on both sides of the ball. He can pick his spots with precision with the ball in his hands, while on defense he is exceptional at diagnosing and reading plays as they happen, and sometimes even before the snap.
COACH’S QUOTE ON LUKE GRAFT
“Luke is an explosive football player. He’s grown as a leader and a teammate the last couple of seasons. He’s a guy that we’re counting on to have a big season both on offense and defense. I can’t wait to see what he does this year.” – Norwell coach Josh Gerber