Big-Time Sophomore LB Continues Success

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Hermitage (Richmond, VA) star Curtis Grant caught the attention of head football coach Patrick Kane as just an eighth grader.

“I saw him playing basketball. He was so much more physically mature than the other guys out there,” said the Panthers varsity head coach.

Grant, now a 6-3, 220-pound junior linebacker/tight end, burst onto the varsity football scene late in 2007 and has since developed into one of the most highly recruited players in the state of Virginia’s 2011 class. Potentially, he could be the most highly recruited player to come out of the talent-rich Hermitage program.

“I’d probably say that, at this stage, that may be true,” Kane said. Hermitage (5-1 this season) has produced current college players such as Jeffrey Fitzgerald (UVa/Kansas State), Jameel Sewell (UVa), Alonzo Tweedy (VT) and Ju-Ju Clayton (VT). Theron Norman and Duan Perez-Means signed with Virginia Tech in last year’s class but neither is currently in Blacksburg.

Grant is receiving interest from schools up and down the East coast.

“Virginia Tech, Maryland, UNC, Boston College, West Virginia and a couple more have offered,” Kane said. “Florida has requested film and they have said they will heavily recruit him. Almost every school in the SEC, ACC and Big East has either offered or jumped in and requested film.”

Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech are among the schools Grant has been to so far, but a decision is not expected to come any time soon.

“That’s way down the road,” Kane said. “He is focused on developing into a better high school football player, helping us win, and he is focused on the classroom.”

Grant racked up 106 tackles including 20 tackles for loss last season as a junior. This season, he is averaging 13 tackles per game and is also seeing more action on offense in a hybrid tight end/wide receiver role. Linebacker is where he is being recruited by college coaches, though, and for good reason.

“He has got the dimensions everybody wants,” said Kane, who first played Grant on the varsity level in the 2007 playoffs. “He has the size and the body type. He runs extremely well. When you talk to him, you see he is real mature. He is a disciplined young man. If you ever get the chance to meet him, and then you see him play, it’s a no-brainer.”

A top junior class…

Grant headlines the group, but Coach