Mids Targeting Florida Prep Star

Navy landed a superstar prep defender from the Sunshine State when they snagged linebacker Vinnie Mauro from the class of 2010. Are the Mids one step closer to landing another highly regarded defender from the class of 2011?

They very well could be, as GoMids.com has confirmed that Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper was in Orlando last week to check out Lake Brantly (Fl) defensive end Joey Grant. A 6-foot-4, 245-pound playmaker off the edge, Grant already held offers from East Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette coming into Jasper's visit, and told GoMids.com that the Navy assistant coach's visit and offer caught him off guard.

"I actually had just met [coach Jasper] like two days before," said Grant, who described the visit as coming from "left field."

"He came to my school, and was a really nice guy," added the defensive end. "I liked him a lot."

Grant is currently the 44th-ranked player in the Orlando Sentinel's Super 60 rankings of the top prospects in central Florida. He attended a Nike combine event last month, and reports a 4.76-second 40-yard dash, a 30-inch vertical, and a 4.43 second short shuttle. On film, Grant is quick off the snap and relentless with his hands, often driving larger offensive linemen back with the use of great leverage and his explosive lower body strength. He is also instinctive and displays good field presence, and has the ability to move laterally and shed blocks against the run or on screens.

Getting an offer from Navy was a welcomed experience for Grant, who said he felt relived that his future plans were beginning to take shape.

"It's cool, and it's just a relief knowing that I'm starting to get offers and that I'm going to be playing Division 1 football. It's like all my hard work is finally paying off."

Grant admits that he doesn't know a lot about Navy. Previously, her had been hearing mostly from Conference-USA schools, and had taken unofficial visits to Boise State and South Carolina during the offseason. Despite his inexperience with Navy, he's been catching up on his research of the Academy, and appreciates the school's commitment to academics.

"I've been doing some research about them and I've been starting to learn more, but I don't know too much," he said.

"But just with the degree…it's what I'm looking for. I know there is a slim chance of playing in the NFL, so I just want to come out of college with a good degree. If you come out of the Naval Academy, well then you're pretty much set for life."

Academics are very important for Grant, who said that the strength of a school's academic programs will likely play a key role in his eventual college decision. While he's unwilling to rank the three colleges he currently holds offers from (on account of not having visited any of them) he did say that Navy's academic reputation and location sets the university apart.

"I haven't visited any of them, so I can't really rank them. But just from the academic standpoint, Navy has some prestige in my book," said Grant.

"Annapolis in general and just the history there [is attractive]. All their history in general is impressive, and I like them a lot," he added.

Jasper's offer to Grant has aroused his interest enough that the senior defensive end said he now hopes to camp at Navy during the summer. He already had made plans to attend camps at Boise State, ECU, and UCF, but said that visiting Annapolis will become one of his priorities this summer. Grant is currently being recruited by Navy as a defensive end, but he said that there is a chance he could be moved to an interior spot on the defensive line in college.

Grant recorded 60 tackles, 14 for loss, and four sacks as a junior in 2009. Aside from his three offers, he also has been hearing from Purdue, South Florida, and Central Florida.

Want more Navy recruiting news? Stay tuned to GoMids.com all summer long as we bring you the latest updates on all of Navy's offers, prospect news, and commitments

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