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'It's been quite the ride': EWU's Ty Graham will play in his first game in over 900 days next Saturday

Graham's first game back on the field also has a unique twist: He'll face off against the team he transferred from.

CHENEY, Wash. — At every Eastern Washington University practice, they blare music throughout Roos Field.

At Tuesday's practice, the main genre selection was rock.

As Ty Graham warmed up, "Don't Stop Believing" came on, and several times, he couldn't help but bust out a move.

It's fitting that Graham obviously has an affinity for the song, as it could be the theme song of the past two and a half years of his life.

"It's been quite the ride," Graham said.

Due to sitting out a year from transferring and COVID-19 pushing back Eastern's fall season to the spring, he'll have not played in a football game for over 900 days when the Eags finally take the field next Saturday.

"I would be lying if I said I haven't been losing sleep over it because I think about it so much. I lay in bed, and I start to get worked up. My heart starts beating a little faster just because I get so excited about it," said the Cheney High grad.

Oh, and the team the Eags kick off their season against? None other than the team Ty transferred from: Idaho. 

To add to that, the game will be played in Kibbie Dome.

"I just kind of chuckled. Of course, it just works out like that," Ty said of the coincidence. "I'm expecting some heckling from the sidelines or the stands."

There is a silver lining though. If Ty would've stayed at Idaho, he would've graduated in 2020. 

But because he transferred, he'll actually get to play more college football games due to the extra year of eligibility the NCAA has granted because of COVID-19.

"The cool thing about it too is that I get a season and a half instead of just one season off of it. I get six games this spring, and then in the fall of 2021, I get to finish up my senior season as well. This definitely wasn't as planned, but I'm thankful for it all," said Graham.

The break has also provided a new perspective on the game for Graham.

The journey has had it's ups and downs, but overall, it's been worth it.

"Just the appreciation factor of what this game has brought to my life is something that really stood out to me. It's more than just a game to me. It's something I've developed so much brotherhood off of and it's help grow me as a man and taught me a lot of life lessons. This one especially, with it being so long of a time of being in an actual game, it's taught me a lot of lessons and I'm really thankful for it," said Graham.