Grissom's Caught By Surprise

New names always pop up towards the back end of the recruiting process and with a little more than three months to go until National Signing Day a new defensive end popped up on LSU's radar a couple of weeks ago.

Social networking is a perfect way to connect with other people from all over the world and it’s also become a useful tool for recruiting high school athletes.


Just ask Kansas commitment Geneo Grissom.


Grissom – a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defensive end from Hutchinson, Kan. – was checking his Facebook page one night when he received a message from someone he didn’t recognize. That someone was LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis, but it didn’t take long for Grissom to realize who he was corresponding with.


“It kind of started on Facebook where me and Coach Chavis messaged back and forth,” explained Grissom. “He then called me a couple of weeks ago and we talked for a little bit then he sprung the offer on me.”


Since receiving the overture, Grissom says he has spoken to Chavis once a week. The scholarship offer that Chavis extended took the three-star prospect by surprise as he thought that the recruiting process ended when he made a commitment to the hometown favorite Kansas Jayhawks back in early June.


“It did catch me off guard,” Grissom said with a laugh. “I didn’t expect to get recruited this late after committing to KU so early. I thought in terms of getting recruited and teams looking at me I was pretty much done. It’s definitely a big honor.”


Grissom knows about LSU’s tradition and the reputation it has when it comes to preparing defensive linemen for the National Football League. The country’s No. 84 defensive end and No. 6 player overall in the state of Kansas still considers his commitment to KU on solid ground. But that’s not to say that the interest from the Tigers hasn’t given him something to ponder.


“It has,” said Grissom. “LSU has a tremendous program and they’re doing some really good things down there. They’re in the race for the championship every year and they’re playing for conference championships every year. They’re just a great football team and that defense; they do a really good job with that defense.”


Kansas has two other defensive ends committed for 2010 in Jaqwaylin Arps and Jimmy Mundine, but the KU staff has placed an emphasis on signing defensive ends in this class.


The thought of having to compete with LSU over Grissom is something that Mark Mangino and co. probably did not expect. But if they’re worried about it they haven’t expressed it to Grissom himself.


“They haven’t really shown too much worry and as of right now I’m content with my decision,” he said. “As far as now, nothing has really changed. I’m sure they weren’t happy to hear that LSU offered, but they haven’t said much because they know where I stand.”


The fact that KU is only 160 miles from Grissom’s home is one of the selling points for the standout defender. The fact that Baton Rouge is more than 650 miles from his home in Hutchinson is something that Grissom has already taken into consideration.


“Both my mom’s – my real mom and my stepmom – I don’t think they would like the idea of me leaving too much,” he said. “My dad would miss me but he would understand.”


Grissom says that he isn’t putting much thought into recruiting at this point in time because he is focused solely on helping Hutchinson win its sixth straight Division 5-A state championship.


The Salt Hawks are 10-0 heading into Friday’s playoff game and Grissom has over 80 tackles and five sacks on the year.


Once his season is over, Grissom will consider whether or not he wants to take a visit to LSU. But as of now, he is steadfast to reaching his ultimate goal and where he stands with KU.


“I’m just concentrating on finishing my high school season strong and as soon as that is over I can concentrate more on the other things,” he said. “I’m happy with KU and I’ll think about recruiting after my season.”

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