College Football 2021: Oklahoma Vs Nebraska, DJ Graham, catch, coach challenge, US loses its mind,’ craziest play,
DJ Graham has just put his name on the football world’s lips after an insane college catch, but his coach almost denied his moment of madness.
DJ Graham may have just made himself an NFL career in a moment of brilliance that dropped jaws across the US.
The cornerback for the Oklahoma Sooners has made highlight reel across the world with one of the more absurd catches you will ever see on an American football field.
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With Nebraska down 23-9 and at 4th-and-18 with eight minutes left, the quarterback scrambled before throwing towards the end zone in what looked like somewhat of hopeful throw with the clock against the Cornhuskers bid for a comeback.
But the Sooners star put himself in the right position, leaping up for an insane one handed interception grab that has to be seen to be believed.
The commentators erupted immediately in the box, making noises they’d likely never made before.
“Oh, what an interception,” one commentator screamed. “Oh my gosh, DJ Graham. Gimme that Odell.”
The “Odell” reference was about Odell Beckham Jr.’s insane one handed grab in his rookie season.
No matter how many replays they saw, they couldn’t believe the catch, and they were far from alone.
Graham’s teammates were stunned by the grab, engulfing him in a see of back slaps and plaudits, while his QB Spencer Rattler gave the perfect response.
Even Graham himself couldn’t grasp what he’d done.
“It just happened,” Graham said. “I can’t really explain it. I just tried to catch it … I was like, ‘OK, I still got it. I still got the receiver hands.’
Hilariously, the Sooners coach Lincoln Riley was set to challenge the play, because if Graham had knocked it down rather than caught it, Oklahoma would have got the ball at the 24-yard line, rather than the three-yard line.
“I think I might have been the first coach in the history of college football to challenge a play that we got an interception on,” Riley said. “I literally walked over to the official and I might have challenged it, but he said they had 100 per cent confirmed it up there. Yeah, I was hoping it would have gone down. But what a play. Just a phenomenal play.”
Graham later said knocking it down didn’t cross his mind.
“With the ball that high, I’m not thinking about batting it down,” he said. “Maybe if it was a little bit lower, I might have batted it down. With a jump ball like that, I think my instincts took over. I was just deciding if I should go up with two hands or one hand.”
One of his teammates Nik Bonitto said it was “the craziest play I’ve ever seen eye-to-eye”.
But he also confirmed that Graham practices at training.
His teammate Caleb Kelly also confirmed on Twitter: “he did this in practice this week too. exact same play. still wow”.
But social media lost its collective mind over the play.
Former NFL safety Dr Derwin L. Gray called it: “One of best picks I’ve ever seen. Well done. Congratulations on win.”
NBA star Trae Young had the perfect view of the catch, writing “That boy different”.
The Oklahoman reporter Justin Martinez tweeted: “DJ Graham’s interception against Nebraska might just be the best play in college football so far this season, but head coach Lincoln Riley wanted it to be scratched from the record.”
SNY reporter Chris Williamson wrote: “DJ Graham gonna make a lot of money off that unreal interception.”
Vice president of athlete relations at LeBron James’ The Spring Hill Co. Jimmy Spencer added: “This is the craziest interception I’ve EVER seen ‼ Wow @djgraham_!”
The Athletic’s Damon Sales also wrote: “This is flat-out sick. One of the best catches — receptions or INTs, don’t matter — I’ve ever seen. @djgraham_, it’s your world.”
It’s definitely one for the sizzle reel.
The Sooners held on to win the game 23-16 to maintain a perfect 3-0 record, while the Cornhusker fell to 2-2.