LB Curtis Grant likes Gators but not the recruiting game


LAKE BUENA VISTA — Curtis Grant is one of the few high schoolers who is ready for his summer to end.

He’s tired of the traveling and tired of the talking.

The Richmond, Va., Hermitage linebacker is ready to get back into pure football mode as high school practice begins and his senior year starts. Curtis, whom ranks as the nation’s top inside linebacker, has roamed the country since the spring. He flew out to California to check out USC and UCLA. He’s been down south to visit Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Clemson. Oh, and he made stops near home to look at Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Not to mention he’s developed a strong relationship with the coaches at North Carolina.

Grant has been linked to a few schools this summer and was reported as having Florida as his top school. While competing at the 2010 Gridiron Kings tournament last weekend, Grant squashed rumors that he has any sort of leader. He’s open to everyone and is putting recruiting on hold as he prepares for his final season at Hermitage.

“Recruiting is going to be there so I can take it when I want it,” Grant said.

“It will pick up after (the season) because I have to find a new home. Right now, I’m not pressed to find a new home because I have a good team (in Virginia).”

Grant said he plans to take his official visits in December and January so that recruiting won’t distract him this fall. He hasn’t narrowed his list of schools, but plans to with his coach during two-a-days in August.

Participating at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Grant showed why he’s one of the nations top linebacker prospects. He captained the defense for the Midwest team, and though his team went 0-4, Grant never seemed to stop as he tracked down players through the middle and covered both sides of the field.

Grant hopes that attitude carries over to his upcoming season with the goal of making a run to the Virginia state title. That’s why he’s making sure that recruiting doesn’t interfere. He’ll be one of the most sought after prospects this fall, but he’ll do his best to block any and all of that talk for the next few months.

After that, he’s fair game.

He isn’t naming any leaders right now, but three schools are sticking out a bit for him in Florida, USC and Alabama.

The idea of playing for Alabama sounds quite appetizing to Grant. He said getting the chance to run with a defensive unit that has thrived in elite status the last couple of years is something that excites him.

“It would mean a lot (to play for Alabama) and they are trying to continue something,” Grant said. “They won (the national championship) last year so if I were to come in we would just continue that.”

Even with USC’s troubles and postseason ban for the next two seasons, Grant said that has little affect on his interest in the Trojans.

“They still have a great program and great players,” he said.

Finally, Florida is a school that he’s had a lot of contact with in the last few months. He’s developed a strong relationship with linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and head coach Urban Meyer. After he and Meyer talked at length, he trusts the top Gator will be healthy and coaching not only this year but much longer.

Grant wouldn’t divulge the details of their conversation, but he’s confident that Meyer is much healthier.

“He’s doing a whole lot better than he was,” Grant said.

As for the program, Grant said he’d like to officially visit it this fall and said Florida is a school he follows closely.

“They are a pretty good squad,” he said. “I like the coaches and the area that it’s in, it’s nice. They have pretty good ball players and I feel like that’s a place where I can go in and compete.”