June 22, 2010

Rams rank in Grant's top three

Apopka, Fla. defensive end Joey Grant is putting on the miles in an effort to discern the best place for him to lace up his cleats for the next five years. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder from Lake Brantley High School holds five scholarship offers and has been to eight schools with two more visits on the way.

Grant scored 58 tackles and four sacks last season for a 7-3 Lake Brantley team, earning honorable mention All-District honors. Grant, who runs a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, has seen his play has get the attention of several college coaches and holds scholarship offers from Colorado State, Central Florida, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette and the Naval Academy.

"They (schools) like my speed off the ball and they love my size," Grant said. "Most teams are looking to move me inside. They want to put some weight on me and play me as a defensive tackle. They say I have good hips."

Grant has done his due diligence to check out the schools who have contacted him, visiting Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Virginia, East Carolina, North Carolina State and will be going to Northwestern and Connecticut in the coming weeks. Grant holds a 3.83 grade-point average and said the academic environment will be a big part of his college decision.

"I am a big academic guy, so I know football is part of getting the college experience," Grant said. "I can't go to college after football. What means a lot to me is academics and where does the football team stand in the community. I want to see a community that is rabid about the team and the stands are packed every game. The coaches of course are important too. I've liked nearly every coach I have seen so far."

The future business major has been hearing from Colorado State offensive coordinator Pat Meyer and said the Rams are in his top five with Central Florida, East Carolina, Duke and UConn.

"The Rams are definitely in my top three right now," Grant said. "I love the West. I love the mountains and it is something new for me. It is something I feel like I need to experience. I am 17 years old, but I have been in the same place for the past 17 years. I liked the city, Fort Collins is beautiful. It seems old, but renovated a little bit and I like Coach Meyer a lot."

Grant, whose grandfather, Ralph Grant, played for Vince Lombardi's Packer teams, said he is also a baseball pitcher, though he has taken the spring off to visit colleges around the country. He hopes to make a college commitment before the season starts and Grant said he is also seeing the game slow down.

"I've gotten bigger, I've gained more weight and I think I have gotten faster. The game has slowed down a lot for me from last year and the year before when I started playing varsity. I am watching a lot more film and I am smarter and bigger and better all the way around."

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