Junior linebacker Jarrett Grace is following in the tradition of several great players who came before him. Grace, 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, had an excellent season for the Cardinals in 2009.
"I think we had sort of a bittersweet season for our team," Grace stated. "It was disappointing to not make the playoffs, but we lost our first two games before winning eight straight. I think we had a successful season because we finished the year as a great team. Personally, I think I did alright, but I could have played better. I led our team in tackles and made All-Conference, so I felt good about that."
Grace plays middle linebacker at Colerain, but his size indicates that a move to defensive end is probably where he is headed at the next level.
"I definitely see myself at defensive end some day," he admitted. "With my build, and my family genes, I'm going to get a lot taller and a lot bigger. Playing linebacker helps with my quickness to the ball. I also play basketball and run track, and that helps with my overall athleticism."
The athletic ability displayed on the football field is only enhanced by playing other sports. Playing basketball is beneficial for foot speed and quickness, while his high jumping prowess gives evidence of the explosion Grace shows on the football field.
"I don't have a lot of time to work on my football skills because of playing sports year-round, but I definitely want to work on speed and flexibility," Grace stated. "I feel I can see everything happening on the football field, but I want to improve my reaction time and my speed to the football. I also want to increase my burst off the ball."
Grace is attracting plenty of attention from college recruiters and has already picked up four offers.
"I have four offers right now and I'm hearing from a lot of schools," he said. "I have offers from West Virginia, Cincinnati, Indiana and Colorado. I've been around the Cincinnati program a lot, and I think Butch Jones will carry on the tradition that Brian Kelly started. I think a lot of the Bearcat program. I also attended a game at Indiana when they played Wisconsin, and everything was great at Indiana. I don't know too much about West Virginia or Colorado at this time, but I intend to find out more about both schools."
"Ohio State has really picked up their interest recently and I will be attending practice this Friday," Grace reported. "I attended the spring game earlier this year, and I was at the Iowa game a few weeks ago. It was definitely an impressive sight to see that day against Iowa. Any player would want to play on that stage and I couldn't stop thinking about it. To see the fans going crazy was unbelievable and I loved seeing how everybody loves the Buckeyes up there."
"(Buckeye assistant coach) John Peterson stopped by the school this week and he told my coach they wanted me to come up for practice," he continued. "I hope to see how the players interact, and how they respond to coaching. I want to watch how the coaching staff works the team as they prepare for Oregon, and I'm definitely looking forward to going there."