“It’s crazy,” Grandon said. “Everybody takes it like a big deal now. Everybody knows that we’re an elite program and we’re a Division I football team. Everybody is taking it seriously and I can just feel the buzz around the building.”
The intensity is high for the first few practices, but it hits another level once the players are allowed to wear pads.
“It’s a little chippy, but the real practices are when the pads come on,” Grandon said. “That is when the fights start and you really start seeing the competitiveness coming out of guys.”
Being a defensive player, it makes sense that Grandon is looking forward to being able to hit in practice.
“Probably just being out there and being able to hit the receivers,” Grandon said of what he is looking forward to. “They are talking all that crap during the summer, but we don’t have pads on. When camp comes, we have the pads and that is when it is time to let those pads talk.”
There are plenty of questions surrounding Arizona’s defense, but the position that gives off the most confidence seems to be safety.
“We have a lot of depth and experience back there,” Grandon said. “We all know what we have to do and we are acclimated with the system. We are trying to have a great team season and great individual seasons. We know this is a strength of our defense and we know what we have to do.”
The Pac-12 boasts some of the best quarterbacks in the country, but Grandon believes that it can benefit Arizona as well.
“We just have to focus on us really,” Grandon said. “We know what we are doing and quarterbacks’ tendencies. We are in a passing league and know that there are a lot of quarterbacks coming back, but that helps us. We know if we shut them down it helps our team.”