SCOTTSDALE, Ariz, - Terris Jones-Grigsby is as happy as can be about the fact that Arizona is playing in the Fiesta Bowl, but he also admits that there is somewhat of a sad element to it as well.
"It is bittersweet," Jones-Grigsby said. "This is my moment with my teammates and I have been around these guys for five years. I have built such a bond and it is about to end.
"It is sweet because it is the Fiesta Bowl and one of the top six bowls. It still has not sunk in. We practiced on Monday and we were looking at how beautiful things are and realized that we are here and have to do it. It’s still a surprise to us, but we know we earned it and have to keep that mentality."
The path to this moment has not been the easiest for Jones-Grigsby, as he often battled injuries and had some eligibility issues also.
"It was a sigh of relief to graduate," he said. "I’m done and I only needed to take two classes this year. I walked in May with my class, so I got to walk in December again.
"It was still a great feeling. Once I got those final two grades in, I was finally done with school. That was cool, but if I get into vet school I am going to be right back in there without any football."
When Jones-Grigsby looks back, he still remembers having to fight for a scholarship.
"Jared Baker is my roommate and we always reminisce back to the Stoops era and now we are here," he said. "We always talk about the old days. The program has come from that four win season to sitting at home to now we have ten wins at the Fiesta Bowl.
"I just envisioned myself trying to get a scholarship, that was my mentality. Now being here and seeing how much our team worked and how hard I worked individually, we definitely deserve it and I am blessed to be here."
Speaking of mentality, the program's overall thought process and approach has changed dramatically since Jones-Grigsby first arrived at Arizona.
"The mentality has changed and that was Rich Rod’s first goal," Jones-Grigsby said. "We had to change the mentality of this program. He felt we did not love football that much.
"We were happy to be in a bowl, but when he met with us he felt like we just weren’t clicking, so first thing he did was try to get the seniors on board. I feel like this senior class has been through it all, most of us are fifth years, and we are ready to get after it.
"We’re coachable, we’re hard working. We’re not going to get knocked down and stay there. We are going to get back up and the 60 minutes of Arizona is something we take to heart."