Gregory Only Wants a 'Chance'

Grant Gregory is headed to Kansas State, and couldn't be more excited. He understands that the NFL isn't likely in his future, but what is, is a final year to play college football. South Florida's No. 2 QB for the last three seasons is hoping he can be No. 1 for the Wildcats.

All Grant Gregory wants is an opportunity. "A chance," in his words, to compete with Carson Coffman to become Kansas State's 2009 starting quarterback.

As reported two weeks ago, Gregory, South Florida's backup quarterback for the last three years, is transferring to Kansas State as a sixth-year senior and will immediately be eligible to play. For the 23-year-old Gregory, it's a dream come true.

"I get to work on my Masters, play for someone like coach (Bill) Snyder, and to play at a school like Kansas State in a BCS Conference like the Big 12 Conference," said Gregory, who had been slated to transfer to Division I-AA Eastern Kentucky.

Gregory will study College Student Development with a specialization in intercollegiate athletics. He hopes that will enhance his future goals of getting into coaching or athletic administration.

While I's are still being dotted and T's crossed on the paper work, Gregory visited the K-State campus two weeks ago to meet Snyder for the first time and attend a Wildcat practice. Coach Snyder?

"Wow, I liked him a lot," Gregory said. "You could tell that he is very, very meticulous and into time management. I can now see where coach Leavitt's (Jim, South Florida's coach and a former Snyder assistant) style came from. The structure is very similar. The attention to detail is very similar. They both want things done now, and done right.

"Coach Snyder got all his stuff from Hayden Fry (former Iowa coach), and coach Leavitt got his stuff from coach Snyder," Gregory said. "Coach Leavitt said if I went to practices at Kansas (Mark Mangino) or Oklahoma (Bob Stoops), they would all be very much alike because of the Snyder influence."

For certain, Gregory's background is unique. He first attended Indiana University, but a stress fracture in his back sidelined him for the 2004 season. With IU coach Gerry DiNardo fired, Gregory transferred to South Florida, where his father, Greg, was coaching under Leavitt.

"That was very, very interesting, but I loved it," Gregory said of playing for his father, who also was his position coach. "You could tell that he was my father. He yelled at me a lot. He was far tougher on me, but that's the way it had to be. We both understood that."

After sitting out the 2005 season, Gregory tore a ligament in his thumb in 2006 and then finished his career as a backup to Matt Grothe the last two seasons passing for 230 yards and four touchdowns.

"There was somewhat of a competition, but then I got hurt. In all honesty, he (Grothe) took the job and never looked back," Gregory said. "It's hard to unseat a guy when he passes for 10,000 yards."

With the Wildcats, Gregory definitely wants to start.

"I wouldn't have come to a school that wasn't going to give me that opportunity. At Eastern Kentucky, the job was basically going to be mine," Gregory said. "It won't be that way at Kansas State, but I'm sure I will get a chance. I watched Carson (Coffman) practice, and I know he's good, but coach promised me reps and an opportunity."

If his role is not as a starter, it will be a duty of being a quality example.

"If nothing else, I want to show the younger guys how to practice," Gregory said. "You don't just win games on Saturday, you win games by working during the summer and year-round. I've been to bowl games and been around good teams. I'm a well-traveled player."

Of his own skills, Gregory came out of the high school ranks in Athens, Ohio, where he was a two-way performer passing for 2,085 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior, but also being a stopper on defense as a safety.

"I came out of high school as more of a runner (1,000 yards for a career)," Gregory said. "But after five years in college, I think my passing skills have developed and I'm a pretty balanced quarterback."

Chuckling, the 6-foot-1, 209-pounder added, "Am I as athletic as Michael Bishop or (Ell) Roberson? I'm not as athletic as those guys, but I am athletic. I'm probably not a great passer or a great runner, but I'm solid at both."

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