Grady Prepared for Upcoming Season

With the opening kick off just over a week away, tailback and U-M commitment <b>Kevin Grady</b> from East Grand Rapids, Mich. is looking forward to his senior season. His early pledge to the Wolverines last fall has allowed the 5-star standout to concentrate on the task at hand, leading the Pioneers to another State Football Title. <br><br>EGR is now in two-a-days and GoBlueWolverine <b>attended Monday morning's practice session</b>, which focused on defense. Here's a report.

Last season the East Grand Rapids Pioneers had one of the most powerful teams in the state regardless of class, and finished a perfect season with a 28-15 come from behind victory over Allen Park in the State Division-3 final. Running back Kevin Grady led the charge with three second-half touchdowns. It was EGR's second straight title. Grady finished the season with 2,507 yards and 39 TD's. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry.

EGR carries a 28 game winning streak into its opener next Friday against Ottawa Hills. The Pioneers look to replace 20 starters from last year's powerhouse team. It may look like an impossible task to claim the three-peat, but Pioneer head coach Peter Stuursma is undaunted. "Five of the guys that will start this year had significant playing time last year, so there is experience," he said. "We still have a lot of work to do but we have the players."

Stuursma had high praise for his star player. "Kevin is in the best shape at this time of the year than at any time since I've been coaching him," he said. "He's been working really hard, of course you need to play games in order to get into playing shape, but that will come. We're going to use him as much as we can this year. Someone with his talent needs to be on the field. We'll use him at running back, linebacker, and for kick-off and punt returns. We use him all over but his future is on the offense and he knows it."

Grady said he lost a little bit of weight. "I'm down to about 223," he said. "I'm trying the keep the weight off. I've worked hard this summer." While he may have lost a few pounds his legs are still as tree-trunk-thick as ever.

Grady made his commitment to Michigan last September and hasn't wavered. It seems other schools have conceded this fact as well. "I'm not really hearing from anyone," he said. "I'm glad I did it early, I've been able to concentrate on my game and this season; there wasn't any reason to let it go longer."

He said he was at a Michigan practice August 7 and enjoyed hanging out with the team. "It looks like they're using 'running backs by community'," he said. "It looks like (David) Underwood is the starter but there were other guys getting a lot of playing time. (Jerome) Jackson was getting a lot of reps; they were switching around a lot with one back and two back sets."

Grady said he will make his official visit to Michigan and will attend some games, though he wasn't sure about dates at this time. Has he been doing some recruiting for the Wolverines? "I talked to Terrance Taylor during our 7-on-7 leagues," Grady said. "I think he's leaning towards Michigan."

GBW will have photos from the defensive session later this afternoon. We'll also be in attendance for the offensive session later today, and will have photos from that this evening.

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