Friday Night Lights: Grant gets it done

BIRMINGHAM, Ala --- No one is certain yet where Grant Brigham will ply his talents at the college level. The Moutain Brook senior all-purpose player may end up in Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Nashville, or even Greenville, SC. Alabama, Auburn, Vandy and Furman all are getting consideration from the speedy, sure-handed Brigham.

Furman is on the list because he is very close to his brother Hindley, currently a sophomore tailback for the Paladins.

FNL was anxious to see Grant play in person and came away duly impressed. After all, Grant is 6-0, 170 and runs a sub 4.5. Not to mention he's learned the wide receiver position from a guy who knows a thing or two about route running, concentration and the like: Mountain head coach and former Tide wideout Joey Jones.

Mountain Brook's Grant Brigham lines up for a high school game.

"He's a very athletic receiver," said Jones of his senior star. "Very good feet. His hands have become much better in his senior year. He's catching the ball extremely well. He's one of those guys, who, when he catches the football, has a chance to run with it after the catch."

Jones spent four years at wideout in the SEC, not to mention the NFL and USFL. He knows what it takes to play at the next level. And, Jones feels Brigham has the tools. "There's no doubt he can play in the SEC," said Jones, adding that there are "a lot of variables for that once you get on campus. There's a lot of work that it takes to become a great receiver in the SEC, and it has to continue. As of right now, I think he has those character traits and the work ethic to do that."

What will Grant need to work on between now and the first day of freshman football practice, wherever he ends up?

"The biggest thing he's going to have to do is get stronger," Jones said. "His upper-body strength has to improve. He can already run, run routes and catch the ball. His big thing is going to be his strength."

FNL concurs with Jones after seeing Brigham play this past Friday against John Carroll Catholic. Grant caught four passes for 47 yards, and rushed twice for 18 more including a ten-yard touchdown rush. Brigham lined up both in the slot and in the backfield. His hands looked sure, as noted by his head coach, as did his speed. Ironically, on this night he was overshadowed by a junior teammate (more on that later), but Grant's skills were readily apparent.

Brigham may end up at any of the above-mentioned four schools, but wherever he goes, he's a good bet to contribute. On to the categories:

SENIORS WHO SHINED: For the "Brook," quarterback Graeme McFarland (6-2, 210) has a strong, accurate arm. He'll play somewhere next fall. For JCCHS, LB Brian Steinert (6-1, 205) made some plays.

JUNIORS TO WATCH: For the home Cavaliers, we noticed RB Chris Johnson (5-8, 160) and PK Jeremy McLain (5-9, 155). The Spartans feature WR Patrick Sprague (6-0, 175) who had a fine night that included a 75-yard TD catch from McFarland. Sprague had ten grabs for the night. The "Brook's" o-line is in good shape with Turner Burton (6-1, 235) and Lewis Mouron (6-2, 225).

Mountain Brook's Grant Brigham, shown at last summer's Alabama 7-on-7 football camp, is one of the top senior receivers in Alabama.

SUPER SOPHS: Mountain Brook tailback Josh Clinton (5-9, 175) is a major part of the Spartan offense. He carried 15 times for 65 yards and a 6-yard score. John Carroll DB Tay Walker (5-7, 145 and growing) and WR Ronald Steele (6-2, 170) looked good.

BRANDON BROOKS LOOKALIKE CONTEST: Roderick Davenport, a RB for the Cavaliers, is 5-4, 160.

ELVIS ALERT: He's not a starter this year, but Mountain Brook lineman John Perry (6-2, 260) is a sophomore with sideburns. You just don't see that every day.

HOW 'BOUT THEM BURGERS: Wow. A trip to the John Carroll Catholic concession stand revealed that they don't serve burgers. What a letdown! Fortunately, FNL was able to catch the last part of the Lee at Pelham game, and the PHS concession stand continues to acquit itself very well, thank you, with char-grilled, juicy patties and a handy condiment table. We were also impressed with Panthers' senior RB A.J. Lanier (6-1, 225) who runs hard and has improved since last year.

MASCOT WATCH: Both the home-standing Cavalier and the visiting Spartan cut no corners in their official uniforms. Is it just us, or does a Cavalier look a whole lot like a Musketeer?

GET WITH THE PROGRAM: FNL hates to date itself, but in nearly 43 years on this earth and hundreds of high school games attended we found, for the first time in memory, a unique situation. A game program was nowhere to be found at JCCHS. And nobody could tell us where we might find one. Thanks to the folks in the public address booth for the Cavalier roster, and to the sideline reporter for the Mountain Brook telecast for loaning us his Spartan player list.

NEXT WEEK: The Lee Generals (notice we kinda like them?) travel to Prattville to face Tide DL commitment Kyle Tatum and his undefeated Lions.

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