Auburn won the national title, 22-19, on Wes Byrum's 19-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter.
"I (originally) thought it was a big difference (in talent), because the SEC is such a powerhouse," Grant said. "They send so many players to the NFL. Just watching that game, it showed there's really not a huge difference, which I thought there would be. It opened up my eyes."
Grant will soon play against either Auburn or Oregon. The Tigers are in the SEC West, the same division as Ole Miss, one of two finalists he's deciding between to continue his football career. The other, Washington, faces Oregon every season.
Auburn and Oregon were the class of college football this year, each school finishing its regular season with undefeated records. Meanwhile, both Ole Miss and Washington struggled.
Still, Grant, rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com, sees positives in his finalists. To Grant, both programs have the potential to win, and soon. And for the Fullerton (Calif.) College standout, winning is all that matters.
"I want to play with a group of guys that just love to play the game of football," he said. "I want to be around guys who love the game of football, and will do anything to win every Saturday."
The Rebels finished 4-8 overall in 2010. However, prior to last season, Ole Miss made back-to-back Cotton Bowls appearances, winning twice. The Huskies ended their season 7-6, including a win in the Holiday Bowl against No. 17 Nebraska.
"I see Ole Miss as a team that a few years ago was playing in the Cotton Bowl," Grant said. "There's a team there that was already good. They need a few more pieces to get to that next level, which is getting to Atlanta and playing in the SEC championship game.
"Washington, they're an up-and-coming program. It's a great coaching staff. The coaching staff, they've been winners at their previous schools. The defense is great, actually. That bowl game really showed a preview of what that team, and that defense, is going to be about next year."
The 6-foot-1, 285-pound Grant is a priority for the Ole Miss coaching staff. Head coach Houston Nutt visited Grant in his home in Florida over the weekend. Nutt was joined by Ole Miss defensive line coach Terry Price.
The Rebels were hit hard by graduation at defensive tackle, losing seniors Jerrell Powe, LaMark Armour, Ted Laurent and Lawon Scott.
"It went great," Grant said of Nutt's in-home visit. "I had a great time with Coach Nutt and Coach Price. It was everything I expected and more. They need leadership to come in on defense, not just a guy who can come in and impact the defensive line. They want someone to come in and impact the whole team."
While other schools are somewhat involved, Grant said Ole Miss and Washington are the programs he's zeroing in on. "When it comes down to it, it's going to be either Ole Miss or Washington," he said.
Grant is scheduled to visit Ole Miss officially Jan. 21-23. He visited Washington in December. After his trip to Oxford, Grant said he will likely take only a day or two to decide. Grant plans to weigh the pros and cons of each school with his mom before making a decision.
"It's going to be very important," Grant said of his visit to Ole Miss. "I'm going there to see how I fit in with the guys, how comfortable it is. That's the No. 1 thing I'm looking for, is a place where I can be comfortable.
"At the same time, and I explained this to Coach Nutt when he visited, I'm looking for a coach and players with enthusiasm. It might be 100 degrees outside, but the players and the coaches are still fired up, like it's a great day; like the weather's great."
Grant will return to Fullerton later this month to finish up coursework. He has three classes remaining. Grant's other offers include Arizona, Baylor, Kansas State, SMU and Utah.
Grant's former teammate, safety Aaron Garbutt, has already signed with Ole Miss. However, Grant said Garbutt's decision isn't a factor in his decision.