If the new Rutgers offense needs an X-factor, look no farther than senior Janarion Grant. Grant was already Mr. all-purpose yardage in a pro-style but now the Rutgers offense has the potential for twice as many plays.
Grant is all in.
“I love it a lot,” Grant said. “It opens up a lot of the run game for us. If the run game gets stuffed, we can go for a deep ball. The spread offense is up tempo. It's fast paced. That's what we need. Have that momentum and have that durability to last longer.”
In addition to 63 catches and 685 receiving yards in three years, Grant has more than 100 rushing yards and 2,779 return yards.
Grant even threw for a touchdown last season on a trick play.
“He loves to practice,” said wide receivers coach Jafar Williams. “I think he's had a really good camp. He does a little bit more than just catch the bubble [screens] and all of those things he did. [He is] improving his route running which has helped him. He spent a lot of time in the summer trying to improve that. I'm really excited to see him.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Grant is stronger and tougher as a senior, but can he handle the Big Ten bruisers?
Grant is confident.
“I'm ready, been ready, born ready,” Grant said. “That's the game of football. You're going to feel a lot of contact for whatever position you're playing. It's just about standing in and being able to take the same hit.”
They key for the staff is rep management.
“We have to do a good job as a staff,” Williams said. “With somebody his size, you have to monitor that. If we're going to do multiple things with him, we have to make sure he's game ready.”
In an offense based on fast-paced play-calling and athleticism, Grant's greatest asset is the obvious one.
“It's my speed,” Grant said. “I use my speed. I've worked on my hands a lot as you know and they're getting a lot better. Since I've gotten that down, all I'm working in is perfecting my routes and being able to get open and make plays.”