BSB: In what ways does he stand out on the football field?
Nelson: “He’s got really long arms and he’s got good footwork and quick feet. I think that’s a great combination for an offensive lineman. He’s a smart kid.”
BSB: What are some areas in which he improved throughout his high school career?
Nelson: “He’s worked hard on his footwork and worked hard to learn offensive line play. As a freshman he was 6-5 and 250, and he’s started for four years for us. He’s really worked hard on his footwork and his understanding of the game more than anything else.”
BSB: When did you realize what kind of prospect he was?
Nelson: “I first saw him in eighth grade when his team was practicing in our practice area. He was playing tight end, and they were just lobbing the ball to him and nobody else could reach that high. They were doing some running and he was winning most of the sprints as an eighth grader, so I knew he was pretty athletic. The summer after eighth grade we had him in camp and were trying to figure out if he was a kid we could pull up (to varsity) right away. He still had a lot to learn, but he just had that physical ability that you can’t ignore so he started on the offensive line right away.”
BSB: What did OSU tell you when they evaluated him?
Nelson: “Coach Warinner came to visit in the spring, I think it was late April. We don’t have spring football, so we have optional workouts in the morning. Grant was there working out in the morning doing some footwork drills and some weightlifting and that kind of thing. Coach Warinner watched him for about 10 minutes and came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I’ve been looking for a guy like that for about two months. You tell him that if he’s interested, he’s got a scholarship at Ohio State.’ It didn’t take him long to see what he wanted to see, I guess. Grant’s a big kid and he’s got some tools and is really good with footwork, and I really think that’s what impressed Coach Warinner. I think he feels like he’s coachable and smart and has a lot of the things you need to play at that level.”
BSB: What do you make of the fact that he’s the first South Dakotan to sign with OSU?
Nelson: “I think the big question mark is if he can fit in at Ohio State and be comfortable there and be accepted by his teammates. It’s Midwestern like South Dakota is, but it’s a long way from home. Grant and I have had several conversations about that. I think any freshman coming in needs to find a way to fit in. That’s true of every senior that’s going to go play college football, but it’s especially true of a guy moving 1,000 miles away.”
BSB: How would you describe his personality?
Nelson: “He’s really comfortable with adults. He’s had a lot of exposure to people recruiting him and is good at dealing with that. I think he’s pretty intelligent. He’s only lived in Sioux Falls, and I think it will be interesting to see how he fits in with guys from other parts of the country. It’s going to be a new experience for him, but I think he’ll make it work.”
Dublin (Ohio) Scioto four-star LB Nick Conner
Canton (Ohio) McKinley four-star RB Eric Glover-Williams
Cocoa, Fla., three-star CB Jamel Dean
Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock Secondary three-star WR A.J. Alexander
Macedonia (Ohio) Nordonia four-star CB Denzel Ward
Valdosta, Ga., three-star CB Joshua Norwood
Draper (Utah) Corner Canyon three-star OT Branden Bowen
St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham four-star DE Jashon Cornell
Woodbridge (Va.) Hylton four-star OG Matthew Burrell