Select Page

February 2nd, 1972 – On This Day in Sioux Falls History, On this day in history in 1972 Neil Graff was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. In his career he would play alongside NFL greats including Fran Tarkington, Terry Bradshaw, and Jim Plunkett! I’m sure every 7th grader who has gone out for his first year of football at Whittier Middle School/Junior High has dreamed of playing quarterback in the NFL! There has been exactly 1 kiddo, who has made that dream into a reality!


As a 7th grader at Whittier Neil was selected as the teams quarterback because he that one trait that you just can’t teach… big hands!!! Graff said his first football coach – Don Erickson told all of the players to stick out their hands, and made his selection for quarterback based on whoever hands were the biggest!
Maybe more coaches ought to use that metric, because Neil took the starting job and never looked back.

A 2 sport athlete in high school, he led the Lincoln Patriots to a State Championship in football and a runner up finish in basketball. He went to Wisconsin, where he was named to the All Big 10 team, lead the conference in passing and total offense, and broke numerous school records, leading in 33 straight games. Neil Graff would play in the NFL for 6 years with measurable stints in Minnesota, New England, and Pittsburgh!


Whittier coaches should let their kiddos know… we are out here looking for the next Neil Graff… everyone hold out your hands!