Pulaski County product and former Hokie Shayne Graham reflects on huge kick 28 years ago

Graham is currently a quality control assistant with the Florida Gators
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 11:48 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Florida faces Arkansas on Saturday and Pulaski County native and former Hokie Shayne Graham will be in the thick of it, continuing his first season as Florida’s quality control coach for special teams. Graham knows a thing or two about kicking and will forever be etched in Hokie lore for beating West Virginia in 1999 to keep Virginia Tech’s national title hopes alive. But it all actually started with another special boot.

In December of 1992, Shayne Graham, a 14 year old freshman at Pulaski County booted a 22 yard game winning field goal in the state semifinals to beat Robinson and propel the Cougars to the state title game where they beat Thomas Dale a week later.

“I just remember how cold it was,” Shayne said this week. “It was the coldest game we had played in. It was probably in the 20′s if not colder. The wind was blowing 25-30 miles an hour. My holder, Leon Crane put a perfect hold down and all the protection was there. No one got close to it at all. I just remember hearing quotes about what Coach Hicks said to the huddle before the play. He told me to go over there, and I found this out during a round of golf a couple years ago with him. But he said that little guy over there...I think he used a different word, is going to make it. You guys just block. Just the elation after that, I had never felt that type of feeling before.”

The kick set Graham on a path that saw him go on to Virginia Tech and make 68 career field goals and 97 extra points, before playing in the NFL for 15 seasons on 14 different teams. But none of it would have happened if not for what transpired on that blustery December day 28 years ago in Fairfax.

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