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For the Love of the Game: Titus Graden

Titus Graden may look like your typical outside linebacker… he likes to knock people down.

"I've had a lot of people tell me, including myself thinking the same thing that he's one of the most violent football players I've ever seen. He has no regard for his own body," said Titus' father, Chad Graden.

From the early days of playing Junior-Varsity in middle school…

"I was one of the biggest kids out there so I was on the line" said Titus.

To now… a soon-to-be senior at Northwestern getting some pretty good college looks.

"I try to stay humble I don't try to say I'm that good but it was really exciting when colleges started showing interest like that."

Titus' story, however, wasn't one where the road was ever easy.

"I grew up in a harsh environment with a lot of drug abuse… so I started falling behind in grades at a young age."

For some kids, sports are an activity… for Titus, they were an escape.

"Football was just really fun and it got my mind off of things."

Titus' father Chad, was serving in the Army at the time, deployed in Afghanistan.

"I remember when I came back, it was at the point where he had missed so much school and if he missed one more day, they were going to hold him back."

But everything changed when Chad returned home.

"I was able to move back in with my father and everything went up from there."

At nine years old, Titus and his father were reunited for good. Which was the game-change that Titus needed.

"Learning each other as a full-time father-son relationship instead of coming home for leave every once in a while."

And from there… Titus got really really good at football.

"I've definitely had to push him for a lot of different things… football is not one of them. He's definitely pushed himself.

So good… Titus is getting a few looks from some schools you've probably heard of… Iowa, Western Illinois, North Dakota… just to name a few.

"It just shows that I've gone through a lot…"

Looking ahead to the future.

"It's my piece of armor."

Instead of focusing on the past.

"I want to get into the best school possible for me and what I can do best with my position and my athletic ability. So I'm just excited."

khinseth

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