By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Uriah Grant’s rapid ascent to the first unit has been the product largely of someone else, he says, citing the importance of seniors showing him the ropes.
A junior college transfer at Ole Miss, Grant was with the first defensive line, at tackle, before the pads went on.
He had two tackles in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“I thought he played well,” defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix said, adding he wanted to hold more judgment on Grant until after evaluating the video from the workout.
There were things about his defense that Nix was able to see right away.
“I thought our D-line got a lot of pressure throughout the day. Sometimes we did that with bringing more guys, and sometimes we did it with a four-man rush. I liked the way they played,” he said.
Grant was a part of that rush.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt praises Grant for his strength and his ability to “move the pile.”
Grant’s path to Ole Miss has included time at two other four-year programs – West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky – prior to last season at Fullerton (Calif.) Community College.
At each stop his strength has helped him make plays behind the line.
Grant redshirted as a freshman at West Virginia in 2008. He totaled 17 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks at Eastern Kentucky in 2009, then 42 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and six sacks at Fullerton last year.
In his last two years of high school in Miramar, Fla., Grant had a combined 28 sacks.
packing a punch
The strength comes in spite of a frame that carries 280 pounds, much smaller than guys like Ted Laurent, Lawon Scott and Jerrell Powe, who logged a lot of plays in the previous four seasons.
Grant, who stands 6-foot-1, sees his size as an advantage.
“I’m not the tallest guy, but I’m low to the ground, and I’m able to get under offensive linemen pretty easily,” he said.
In spite of the inexperience along the interior of the line, Grant doesn’t feel there is pressure on him to produce.
“Making plays is due to what your teammates do. We all come as one. We all make plays together.”
The togetherness is something that Grant says helped him to quickly acclimate and learn the playbook.
“I have to thank the older guys for helping me make the transition from junior college to here. They made it better. I did OK (in the scrimmage), but as a defense we did great. We were flying around having fun. We’re just trying to get better at everything.”