Grant Ready To Begin OSU Career

The recruitment of Larry Grant was one of the late pleasant surprises of Ohio State's 2006 recruiting class. Grant, the nation's No. 1 JUCO linebacker from City College of San Francisco, will enroll at OSU next week and will begin practicing with the team. We caught up with Grant for more.

Larry Grant is one of three Ohio State football players who will enroll in school next week and begin practicing with the team. He will join running back Chris Wells and cornerback Kurt Coleman. Linebacker Ross Homan enrolled during winter quarter.

Grant (6-3, 225, 4.45) was the No. 1 junior college linebacker in the nation last season at City College of San Francisco. He had 85 tackles, six sacks, six interceptions and six blocked punts.

As a freshman in 2004, he tallied 90 tackles, six sacks and six blocked punts.

Grant is looking forward to beginning his OSU career and getting his feet wet during spring practice.

"Spring ball is where it all happens," Grant said. "I have to go up there and make my name and let it be known that I'm not playing around. We'll see how good the team is going to be."

Grant also knows getting off on the right foot academically will be important.

"You have to stick your head in the books and work hard because nothing is going to come for free," he said.

Grant knows there is a tremendous opportunity for him at Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost all three starting linebackers.

"My goals for my junior year are to come in and be an immediate impact for the defense and college football," Grant said. "I want to come in and start. I want to work hard and earn my position."

Grant will likely be a strong side linebacker.

"They told me I could rotate all the spots. But they told me I'll most like play Sam," he said.

Grant originally committed to Florida last year, but an admissions snafu forced him to re-open his recruitment. He was asked why he chose Ohio State over Oregon.

"Linebacker University," Grant said. "And I saw all the success that (A.J.) Hawk, (Bobby) Carpenter and (Anthony) Schlegel had. All three of them getting a chance to play in the league right now. I think I can do the same thing if I come in and work hard."

Becoming one of the best junior college players in the nation did not take Grant by surprise last year.

"I expect to play well whatever level I'm playing at," he said. "It's my fire to play the game. It's what I live for right now."

Grant revealed his strengths and weaknesses as a linebacker.

"My strength as a linebacker is my intelligence and my speed," he said. "I know the game real well and I use my speed to my advantage to get past offensive linemen.

"I think my point of attack can get better. And I can learn a little more at the college level. Want to work on my point of attack and dropping into coverages."

Grant doesn't know a great deal about OSU tradition quite yet, but head coach Jim Tressel is sure to give him a crash course.

Grant is looking forward to playing for Tressel, and getting to know him better on a personal level.

"Talking to some of the players I was around on my visit to Ohio State, they all told me he's a real good coach," Grant said. "He can open up doors for you, just do what he says and play football."

Other than blocking punts at an alarming rate, Grant didn't play much special teams in JUCO ball. But that could change at OSU.

"They told me linebackers play all special teams," Grant said. "I didn't play much special teams at CCSF except on punt returns."

Grant is the first JUCO transfer recruited to OSU by Tressel, but the third Buckeye to come from CCSF. Offensive lineman Paul Breed and linebacker/defensive end James Cotton also hailed from CCSF.

Grant was asked the first thing that came to mind when he heard the words Big Ten football.

"Smash mouth football," he said. "They run the ball a lot and that's me. That's a good thing for me."

And bad for teams that thought OSU would struggle at linebacker in 2006.


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