Graham ditched the green jersey for a blue one Tuesday. The blue jersey will allow Graham to participate in team drills Wednesday when players wear shoulder pads for the first time at camp. The senior RB is recovering from surgery on his right knee.
Graham describes his injury as “a minor setback that will become a major comeback.”
"I definitely felt better today, I did every period today and it felt good," Graham said. "We were doing one-on-ones earlier, and I was tripped up. They weren't really trying to hit me but it was an accident, and I ended up falling on my knee. It didn't hurt at all. The more I don't think about it and just play, the more confident I get.”
Positive developments for Orange LT Pugh: When Syracuse opened preseason camp on Monday, senior LT Justin Pugh worked out on a side field with an Orange strength coach, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported.
It's encouraging news for Pugh, a 2011 All-Big East first team player. It was feared last week that Pugh could miss extended time recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Syracuse coach Doug Marrone ruled Pugh out for preseason camp at last week's Big East Media Kickoff.
Sophomore Kristofer Curtis, a potential replacement for Pugh, is also battling injury the Post-Standard reported. Curtis (6-3, 291) suffered a lower-body injury last fall but returned in time to start in place of Pugh in the Syracuse Spring Game. Curtis left the game early with an undisclosed injury.
Curtis and Pugh worked out together Monday with strength coach Will Hicks. Sophomore Sean Hickey has received reps with the first-team with Pugh and Curtis sidelined.
Rutgers QB Nova lighter as camp begins: Rutgers also opened preseason camp Monday. Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood reiterated that he plans to announce a starting QB “7 to 10 days” before the team's opener Sept. 1 at Tulane. The battle between junior Chas Dodd and sophomore Gary Nova is even, according to Flood.
Nova reported to camp at 225, five pounds lighter than 2011. The sophomore wants to lose another five pounds before the opener, the Newark Star-Ledger reported. Nova told the newspaper Monday that he's as comfortable as he's been in awhile.
Nova had 23 carries for 33 yards last season but finished with a net of minus-114. Dodd had a slight advantage in carries (27) and yards gained (46). Dodd had a minus-67 last season. Rutgers finished fifth in the Big East in sacks allowed with 30.
Connecticut DT Stephen out with knee injury: UConn disclosed when it opened camp Tuesday that starting DT Shamar Stephen will miss an extended period of time with a sprained knee, the Hartford Courant reported.
Stephen (6-5, 317) had 17 tackles and a TFL in 2011. The loss may not be significant. The Huskies return both starting DEs and three starting LBs from a unit that led the Big East in rushing defense (85.7 ypg) last season.
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