When you've conquered one high school football position the way Curtis Grant has dominated at outside linebacker, it's understandable he might look for ways to make the game more challenging.
So, after two years of harassing Hermitage High coach Patrick Kane to put him in on offense more often, Grant is going to get his wish in his senior year. Why not? If you're Kane, you might as well find every possible way to utilize one of the nation's best players.
"We used him a little bit at the end of last season as an H-back," Kane said. "We don't really have a tight end. We're kind of a spread team. We'll be using him a lot more on offense next year."
Don't be confused — Grant's biggest impact will remain on defense. Grant, a 6-foot-3, 222-pound rising senior from Richmond, is considered by scout.com to be the nation's second-best outside-linebacker recruit.
He already has more than 20 scholarship offers. Programs including Virginia, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Florida, Southern California, Louisiana State, Ohio State, Nebraska, West Virginia, Miami, Tennessee and Michigan have made overtures.
Grant is such a household name in recruiting circles that he's probably not even going to bother this summer to attend on-campus recruiting camps, Kane said.
Though Grant has played a lot at inside linebacker for Hermitage, his size and 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash make him an attractive candidate to possibly play outside linebacker in college. Last season, he finished with 154 tackles in 12 games.
Offensive tackle Duane Brown (Tech and the Houston Texans), wide receiver Fontel Mines (U.Va. and the Chicago Bears), linebacker Cliff Perryman (East Carolina), and safety Theron Norman (Tech) are all Hermitage alums.
"He ranks up with the best of the best that we've had," Kane said. "Now, some of the early attention that he's gotten may be because he's at a school where colleges have been coming through since he was a freshman, but he's earned it."
No more full-court pressA new recruiting rule passed Thursday by the NCAA allows universities to send only two assistant coaches to a high school on the same day during an evaluation period.
Football recruiting entered an open evaluation period April 15, and the period runs through the end of May. During this evaluation period, assistant coaches are permitted to make as many as two visits per high school — one visit to evaluate the athletic ability of a recruit, and another visit to evaluate academics. Coaches aren't permitted to have conversations with recruits during this spring evaluation period.
Jim Cavanaugh, Virginia Tech's recruiting coordinator, said the new rule limiting the number of assistant coaches who can make appearances at schools during the evaluation period won't have much effect on Tech's recruiting.
"We've never done an entire staff, but at one time or another, we have done most of the offensive staff or most of the defensive staff," Cavanaugh said. "I don't know if we've ever done the whole offensive staff. Nowadays, what we do is we bring in the coach (in charge of recruiting the area) and the coordinator. It's not like in December and January where you can sit down at a table and talk to (recruits)."
In the last two springs, Auburn's coaching staff has embarked upon something it called the "Tiger Prowl," where groups of more than two Auburn assistant coaches made trips to high schools via limousines. Those kinds of appearances involving large numbers of assistant coaches will no longer be permitted.
Norm Wood can be reached at 247-4642 or by e-mail at email@example.com. For more recruiting news, visit dailypress.com/recruiting.
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