At 6'3" and 320 lbs., DeMarcus Granger's size is ideal for the defensive interior. A 400+ bench and a 500+ squat mean that if you want to push him off the ball, bring a lunch.........and some help, because one-on-one, you probably won't have a lot of success.
Granger's size though is just a partial reason for some of the tremendous success he had last year as he led Justin F Kimball high to the 3rd round of the playoffs, eventually losing to Texarcana.
On the year, Granger tallied almost 70 tackles, a whopping 17 sacks and 10 forced fumbles, 6 of which he recovered.
As impressive as these stats are, for Granger, it's just all part of the job. "My coach lets me play." Granger stated. "That way they can get the most out of what I can do."
There seems to be little Granger can't do as he describes himself as a stout but versatile player, capable of going in or if need be, "bouncing" outside. "People see my size and think I am just this bull-rush kind of player that doesn't do anything but go up-field." he said. "When you get double-teamed all the time though, you learn to find other ways to do things. My hands, speed (He said he was clocked at a best of 4.9 last year) and ability to run down guys just lets me do about whatever I want."
The 17 sacks and 10 forced fumbles stand out glaringly as they should. For any position on the field, that's gaudy, but for an interior defensive lineman, that's just not fair, well, for the other guy that is. And while DeMarcus attributes some of his success for his intensity, he prefers to give his lack of outward emotion the credit for being mentally ready for anything. "In the locker room, I am outrageous." Granger said. "Just getting my boys in the mode for the game. Out on the field though, it's my world and there's nobody else in it, so I can concentrate on doing my job."
First thing you think of when you see DeMarcus' stout frame is that he's a run-stopper from hell. Not real tall, very wide-body and as strong as an ox. Granger agrees, but says that if that's all you think his game is, you are in for a rude awakening. "Nobody is running by me." DeMarcus said. "But, I've learned to beat the double-teams and get up-field. When someone starts thinking I am just this plug on the line, that's when I am going right by them to the quarterback."
Granger will no doubt be one of the best in the talent-heavy state of Texas. So much so, he's already gotten written offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Tennessee, LSU and Baylor and letters from interest from.......well, you name it.
I know that some recruiting fanatics will look at that offer from the Longhorns and automatically assume that he's eventually going to end up in Austin. Granger said that he's not ready to say any school is the leader and doesn't mind the idea of leaving the state if the situation is right. "If the school is good for me and what I can do, I'll look at them." he said. "I'm going to go someplace I'm not just there to stop the run. I want to be able to do what I do."
DeMarcus did say that if there was any one factor in determining not where he would go, but where he wouldn't go, it could be about the weather. "I don't like the rain." he said. "I don't want to go someplace it's raining all the time. Other than that, it doesn't matter to me."
Well, it looks like Oregon might be out on Granger, but it seems pretty wide-open other than that and Granger is not ready to say that anyone is even remotely in the lead. He'll have lots of choices though as with 5 written offers already, he may not like the literal form of rain, but the figurative description of the attention he's going to get this year will be a deluge indeed.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619