Terrell Grant, the Ole Miss football coaches say, has a "million dollar body."
"He looks terrific in a uniform," said head coach Houston Nutt of the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Grant. "With a body like that, we've got to find a place for him to help us."
Grant, who hails from Cleveland, Miss., has made a favorable impression at wideout his rookie college season, but the coaches got a brainstorm and asked him to do something else.
"Coach Nutt asked me if I would be willing to try safety," said Grant. "He said I have this million dollar body (laughs) and they want to utilize it.
"I told them I would do anything to help the team, so I'm at safety right now during Cotton Bowl practices to see if it's something that will stick permanently."
Safety is not foreign to Grant, and moving wideouts to the secondary is not foreign to Nutt.
"We knew Kendrick Lewis was a former wideout and when we got to Ole Miss, we immediately thought Marshay Green could be an excellent cornerback, which he turned out to be," explained Nutt. "Terrell has a safety look. We're going to see if he has the feel for it, a knack for it."
Grant is willing.
"I've played in the secondary before. I played corner one year in high school and safety for a couple of years, so it's not totally new to me," he said. "I'm just having to go through a period of adjustment and of tackling and being the guy doing the hitting again."
Safety Coach Kim Dameron believes Grant can handle the new position.
"Certainly he's raw and not playing real fast right now because his mind is spinning," said Dameron, "but I think he's got a real chance. He has good secondary instincts."
The biggest plus for a converted wideout should be ball skills.
"I'm used to going after the ball and attacking the ball in the air. I will continue doing that at safety, but I also know I'm the last line of defense and I have to be a sure tackler," Terrell noted.
Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix likes the idea of a former wideout potentially being able to generate more interceptions.
"Maybe he can go out there and be a ball hawk, get a few picks. He's good in a crowd with the ball in the air and adjusting to the ball in the air," Nix added.
Back to the "million dollar body."
Just a few weeks ago, when the redshirts tested in the weight room, Terrell set a school record in the power clean for wide receivers.
Not a school record for freshmen wideouts - a school record for all wideouts who have ever played at Ole Miss since weight room records have been kept.
The total: 311 pounds.
"I'm pretty strong for a freshman," he said humbly. "I want to keep getting stronger. I want to put this million dollar body to good use."
With Lewis graduating and Johnny Brown headed toward his senior season in 2010, help at safety will be needed for the future.
Is converted wide receiver Terrell Grant the guy? Time will tell.
Grant trying safety
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