After a senior season that included leading the Nease Panthers to the state title game, cornerback Justin Grant is preparing for his college football career. With his decision already made to attend the University of Florida, he updates us on when he will visit Gainesville, his academics, and how he will fit into the Gator defense.
“My senior season was good,” Grant said. “We came just short of our goal of a state title, but I had a lot of fun. I ended the season with 10 or 11 picks, I think. To be honest, I lost count at 10.”
With the star power that already maintains spots in this year’s recruiting class, Justin Grant has often gone overlooked. Only rated a two-star cornerback and rated 86th at his position, Grant is forgotten even by some Gator fans, as Coach Urban Meyer continues to bring in four and five star players.
However the Florida coaching staff understands just what they are going to get in the 6-1, 180 pound corner. Combine his size with his 4.4 speed, and the Gators are getting one of the most underrated corners in the nation.
“When I get to the next level,” Grant said, “people are going to see what a hard nosed football player I am. I think I have great timing and even better potential. I feel like I can shut anyone down now, but that I can still get better.”
Grant, who transferred to Nease for his senior year of football, continues to talk with the Gator coaching staff in anticipation for his arrival in Gainesville.
“I talk to just about all the coaches,” Grant said. “Coach Heater, Coach Mattison, and Coach Meyer, we all keep in touch.
“They always want me to call them when I have any questions or anything about the school or team. It goes both ways though, sometimes I’m calling them, and sometimes they’re calling me.”
Though he has been to Gainesville this season, Grant has not been for his official visit. He visited unofficially when the Gators played host to LSU; a visit which made a large impact on him.
“When Florida played LSU, man The Swamp was rocking,” Grant said. “That’s when I got an offer, and man I couldn’t have been happier.
“I’ll probably take my official visit the first weekend of January or the weekend right after the big game against Ohio State.”
Grant also claims to have no glaring academic issues.
“I shouldn’t have a problem qualifying. I’m taking the SAT in January, but I should do well enough on that.”
As far as this year’s Gator football team, Grant’s only wish is that it will happen while he is a member of the team.
“I’ve gotten to watch just about every Gator game this year,” Grant said. “Man, they are playing well. That’s the kind of stuff I want to happen when I get there.”
With the defensive scheme run by Coach Strong and Coach Mattison, it is imperative for the corner to be able to play man to man coverage. Grant views this as a challenge, and one which he views will reveal his skills perfectly.
“One of the big reasons I committed to Florida is because of how well I fit into their defense,” Grant said. “I love the coverage schemes the coaches run. They don’t handcuff the ability of the corners, and it’s not a boring defense at all.
“A lot of the packages require me to play man to man, and that’s what we ran in high school. I love the defensive scheme and think I’m a great fit.”
Possibly one of the reasons Justin Grant has flown under the radar, is that he plays on the same team as five star offensive line prospect James Wilson, a current USC commit. Is Grant working the OL prospect for the Gators?
“Oh I always talk to James about playing in Gainesville,” Grant laughed. “He was really helpful to me in making my decision.
“He always used to say that I should pick where I was comfortable. Now I keep telling him that I know where he is comfortable, and that it’s in Gainesville! I think he’s pretty set with USC though.”
With Justin Grant transferring for his senior year and playing somewhat in the shadow of James Wilson, it is easy to see how some people have overlooked him. However with the hips Grant has displayed, combined with his 4.4 speed and great height, the Gator coaching staff has found a gem that will benefit the football program for years to come.