Grant attracting suitors

It's no secret that several elite in-state 2014 recruits are being pursued by schools all across the nation, but some Phoenix area 2015 prospects are enjoying some recruiting attention these days as well. Scottsdale Horizon High School offensive lineman Jake Grant, is one of those players who has numerous schools tracking him, including the hometown Sun Devils.

"Recruiting with Arizona State is going pretty well," Grant said. "I camped with them last year and I performed well. I'm also going to camp this year with them. I went for an unofficial visit there last year and it was an experience I'll never forget. I had a good time there.

"I know a lot of their facilities are going to get re-modeled, but even right now they look pretty awesome. I can't even imagine how great they will look once they are re-modeled. I love the atmosphere on campus, the coaches are great and those are the type of coaches I would love to play for."

Another aspect that has impressed the Horizon standout was the scheme that ASU employs.

"Watching them practice and watching them in games it looks very high paced," Grant described. "They are all about scoring a lot of points and that's obviously the whole point of the game. So, I'm all for putting up numbers quick.

"I really like the run game because the guards pull a lot, they do sweeps and counters and I like how the offensive linemen get to do a lot of different things when they run the football. They run a lot of zone scheme and I'm used to that at Horizon and I like blocking that way."

The lineman also visited a couple of the Sun Devils' spring practices and had been in frequent contact with Offensive Coordinator Mike Norvell and Offensive Lineman Coach Chris Thomsen.

"They told me how much the liked my size," said the 6-4 265-pound Jake Grant, "and because I'm young they know I can maybe grow even more. They are projecting me at guard and they really like my technique, how my second step gets in the ground fast and how I finish my blocks. I know I need to get better in the weight room – that's one area you never stop getting better at."

The lineman reported weight room marks of 300 lbs. benching and 450 lbs. squatting, but added that at the end of spring ball later this month he will be tested again in those areas.

Grant got a little taste of varsity ball during his freshman year when he played there for one game, and he spent his entire sophomore season as a starter on that squad.

"I had a feeling my freshman year that I was going to be on the varsity team sooner than a lot of other kids," Grant admitted. "I love the game and I was going to do whatever my team needed me to do. I was excited to start last year because not a lot of kids get to play three years of varsity ball.

"I'm lucky that I play for an offensive linemen coach, Clayton Walker, who graduated Horizon in 2002 and played for the University of Washington. I have learned a lot from him."

Grant is still seeking out his first scholarship offer, but that is something that appears to be a temporary situation judging by the amount of attention he is already receiving.

"Spring ball started last week," Grant commented, "Arizona State, Arizona, Utah, and Michigan State all stopped by. I also got letters from Iowa State, Marshall, Virginia, Auburn, and Northwestern.

"I'm planning to go to a lot of Pac-12 South camps this year at ASU, Arizona, Utah and UCLA. So I think I could get offers from some of those schools and also from Michigan State."

The lineman said that two factors in specific do attract him to the hometown team.

"Proximity to home," Grant said. "My parents, their friends, my friends and my old teammates can all watch me play every game. It's great that you will always have those fans there right behind you all the time.

"ASU has a great business school and that's something I potentially want to major in. As a student–athlete academics always have to be number one and you have to concentrate on academics when you're in college."

Grant is obviously aware of the influx of quality local prospects who are one year older than him, and the potential of playing with such recruits in Tempe is certainly an enticing proposition.

"I talked to Natrell Curtis a little," Grant said, "he's a very nice guy and he always asks me about my recruitment. I've seen him a bunch of times at ASU practices so I know he likes them and has a lot of interest. He's someone that would be fun to play with and I know that if I had any questions about recruiting I could contact him.

"If ASU offered me I would definitely consider committing there. I know Coach Graham is really putting an emphasis on keeping the local recruits home. I really appreciate that because it shows that he knows what kind of talent he has in their back yard. So I definitely think about that and having a trend of in-state prospects committing at ASU. But I'm also keeping my options open because it's so early in the recruiting process."

Grant added that he does appreciate the team culture change that Todd Graham has instituted since arriving in Tempe prior to the 2012 season.

"You have to have discipline to be a good football team," Grant stated. "The team there (at ASU) has a strong family environment and really believes in what Coach Graham is bringing to the program. When I go see them at practice I see the high octane pace and all that energy the coaches bring. I believe that this is what ASU needs if they are going to be that championship contender every year.

"I believe that Coach Graham can get them there."

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