One of the first stops Akron (OH) defensive back Jatairis Grant made when he arrived in Ames for his official visit Friday was to the renowned Hickory Park.
“They have some great ice cream,” Grant said Sunday. “I didn’t really get to finish my plate because it was just so big, but the ice cream was amazing.”
Grant may have several more opportunities to give the ice cream a whirl after the 6-foot, 185-pound former Toledo commit gave his pledge to Iowa State coach Matt Campbell and his staff Sunday before heading home.
In the end, it wasn’t the ice cream, but rather the people, that led to the decision.
“Besides the coaching staff one thing I really wanted was to come down to the community and see if I could feel comfortable with the type of people and the environment,” Grant said following his commitment. “Once I got out and I hung around with people, I just felt comfortable.”
Grant already knew and had preexisting relationships with the new Iowa State staff from his interaction and ultimate commitment at Toledo. What he needed to see during the weekend was what Iowa State had to offer.
“The two hosts that I had, they were cool guys, they were redshirt freshmen so just coming down here and what they told me, it was good news,” Grant said. “Then once I walked around and met a couple other teammates, everybody just seemed friendly.”
Iowa State linebackers coach Tyson Veidt stopped at Grant’s school Thursday ahead of his weekend visit to Ames and Sunday he gave his pledge to defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald and Campbell.
The Cyclones view Grant, who also had an offer from Cincinnati among several others, playing free safety in the Big 12.
“I talked to Coach D.K. [Saturday] in the film room and it looked like he wanted to play me at the free safety spot,” Grant said. “Corner I played my freshman and sophomore years and then the last two years, my junior and senior years, I played safety.”
Grant plans to take on the role of recruiter for Iowa State in the next seven weeks until Signing Day. For now, he’s excited to have finally found his future home.
“I feel like I put my name out there in a good way and people should be looking for me,” Grant said. “I want to be a big guy on the radar.”