Izzy Abanikanda is the most recent star running back to continue the legacy of RBU at Pitt, but there have been many, many great running backs through the years, including — but not limited to — Tony Dorsett, Craig Heyward, Curtis Martin, Dion Lewis, LeSean McCoy and James Conner.
While Ray Graham was never able to make an impact at the NFL level, he’s certainly a part of RBU, and he’s in New York City today to serve as the honorary captain against Syracuse at Yankee Stadium.
“Excited to have Ray Graham with us today as honorary captain,” Pat Narduzzi wrote on Twitter. “An electrifying member of Pitt’s RBU legacy.”
— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) November 11, 2023
Graham, who’s originally from Elizabeth, N.J., which is a short drive from NYC, arrived at Pitt as a four-star running back over offers from Rutgers and Maryland. And he grew into one of the best running backs in the Big East.
In four seasons, with his junior season ended early by an ACL tear, Graham racked up 3,271 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns, 799 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns and ended with over 4,000 yards from scrimmage.
Graham earned first-team All-Big East honors in 2011 (despite tearing his ACL after eight games) and 2012. And he currently sits third all-time in career rushing yards and fourth all-time in rushing touchdowns.
Unfortunately, injuries ended Graham’s NFL career, after going undrafted in the 2013 NFL Draft, before it could really get started.
Graham joins the likes of Jon Baldwin, H.B Blades, Darrelle Revis, Larry Fitzgerald, Lamar Slade, Pat Bostick and Darrin Hall to serve as Pitt honorary captains so far this season.
Pitt and Syracuse will kick off at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx at 3:30 p.m., and for those unable to be in attendance, the ACC Network will broadcast the ACC clash.