Grant Wants To Be Every Down Back

Terry Grant is a little bigger as he heads into his sophomore season. More than bigger, though, the Alabama running back wants to be better.

Terry Grant may have been something of a surprise to casual fans reading the pre-season All-Southeastern Conference football team as selected by the league's coaches. He was third team despite having been a starter for only about three-quarters of his freshman year at Alabama last season.

No one is suggesting that Grant challenged Georgia's Knowshon Moreno for first team All-SEC Freshman last year. But despite missing a couple of games at the end of the year with a sports hernia that required post-season surgery, Grant had 180 carries for 891 yards and eight touchdowns.

Those are all records for an Alabama freshman.

Grant, who also had a touchdown as a pass receiver, earned SEC Freshman of the Week in each of the first three games of 2007. He ran for a 47-yard touchdown on the first play of the season last year and also scored a touchdown on Bama's first offensive play in the second game of the year. Thanks to a 69-yard Javier Arenas punt return, that score was a one-yard Grant run.

Grant rushed for a career-high 173 yards on 24 carries against Vanderbilt and had 18 carries for 134 yards against Western Kentucky. He also had a 100-yard day in a 41-17 win over Tennessee, picking up 104 on 26 carries. He had his one pass receiving touchdown against the Vols.

Grant had 26 carries for 176 yards.

Grant said for Alabama to have success in 2008, "we have to run the ball effectively. The pressure is on the running backs."

Grant wants to be "the best I can be so I can be an every down back. I need to be the best I can be in every area -- running, blocking and receiving. I don't want to be a guy who goes in for a play, then has to come out because of what he has to do on the next play."

Grant is proud that he has added "eight good pounds" since last year. He now has 195 pounds on his 5-9 frame. He's also "100 per cent recovered" from his injury and surgery.

At Lumberton High School he was Mr. Football in Mississippi in his senior season, 2005. He started the 2006 season as a b ack-up running back, but suffered an injury early in the year and was redshirted. he had only two carries for 22 yards in that abbreviated campaign.

"I don't care how they get the ball to me, as a runner or as a receiver," he said.

Grant was pleased with the summer football work. "In our seven-on-seven drills we had more guys here than I've ever seen," he said. "They wanted to be here and they wanted to work."

Grant has a new offensive coordinator in Jim McElwain. "He gets your attention," Grant said. He has the same head coach in Nick Saban. "He's the same guy," Grant said, when asked if Saban seemed to have mellowed since last year. "He's in your face tgrying to make you better."

Grant said he doesn't consider other running backs to be competition. "We're all trying to get better, all trying to make the team better," he said.

He said that freshman Mark Ingram "is a good guy who works hard. All of those (freshman) guys coming in want to do good."

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