Tioga WR looking for first offer

If you're a freshman playing football at a school where Mike Cieslak coaches, don't expect to see any varsity action.

In his career, there's only been on player to start the whole season as a freshman. That player, Tioga wide receiver Elon Grinstead, is now entering his senior season as a college recruit.

Cieslak admitted that numbers and circumstances, such as it being Cieslak's first season at Tioga, played a part in Grinstead playing as a freshman – "but we knew he had the potential," he said.

Over the past three seasons, that potential has developed, and now Grinstead is gearing up for a heavy summer as he hopes to garner his first Division I offer.

"I don't think there's any question that he's a big-time recruit," said Cieslak. "He's been under the radar for whatever reason. That's certainly not the case anymore."

Grinstead, at 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds with a 4.5 40, has both the size and speed to succeed on the next level. However, he admits he's far from a finished product.

"I've got a lot of stuff that I can work on," Grinstead said. "I can make all the plays, and not just make a play here or there."

Grinstead had his best season yet in 2008, catching 46 balls for 591 yards and seven touchdowns on his way to earning honorable mention Class 4A all-state. As a sophomore, he compiled 339 receiving yards and four TDs.

As a senior, he's looking to surpass his career statistics in one year. His best asset, he says, is his ability to take on free safeties and linebackers while going across the middle.

With his combination of size and speed, he says it's very tough for teams to defend him one-on-one.

"I know every game I'm going to see something," Grinstead said. "I've been double-teamed. I've been triple-teamed. Single coverage I take as a personal challenge. They think that person is better than me."

"His athleticism allows him to put himself in a position to catch the ball," said Cieslak, adding that unlike many good athletes, Grinstead "loves" to work. "The thing people don't realize is when the doors close and nobody is around, he works as hard as anybody else."

Grinstead, an outstanding student who projects as a full qualifier, expects to attend a six-day camp at Grambling State next week and also wants to camp at LSU and Georgia later this summer.

He listed Georgia as his favorite, while saying he's hearing from the Bulldogs, LSU, Arkansas, Tulane, Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette.

He has heard from coaches at Louisiana Tech "a little bit, but not as heavy like all the other schools."

While Grinstead hopes to garner his first offer soon, he's in no hurry to make a decision on which college he'll attend. He has no plans to commit anywhere until after he finishes his senior season.

"I'll want until the end of the season and see what offers I have," he said. "I'll put them all on the table and look at them with my mom and my family."

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