Armwood quarterback Josh Grady has had a busy spring attending combines, passing camps, and working on his game, and after a great offseason rejoined his team for the start of spring football this week.
"Everything is going great, I had a good spring, and am enjoying the whole recruiting process," said Grady. "It feels great to be back on the field, and I'm enjoying being back with my teammates, getting everything crisp, and getting back into the swing of things."
As a junior Grady was one of the top duel-threat passers throwing for 3,065 yards passing yards, 28 touchdowns and only three interceptions back while rushing for 586 rushing yards and eight scores. He had impressive numbers but has worked hard this off-season to get better.
"I've been definitely working on my foot work. With me being a duel threat QB, I been getting my 3-step, 5-step, and 7-step drop down, and getting my feet set wherever I'm at on the field."
"This year my goals are to get 50 touchdowns, 3,000 yards and a state title," said Grady. "Anything beyond that will be a bonus."
Grady said this upcoming season he may be playing both ways, but that probably won't be happening this spring.
"I don't know if this spring I'll be playing safety, but during the season I'll probably be playing both ways with a little at safety and full time quarterback."
The standout athlete stands 6-foot-and 3/4, and after working out hard this off-season, is up to 192 pounds to start spring ball.
"I put 15 pounds since last season and have gotten a lot stronger as well," said Grady. "My bench is up to 255, and I'll try and get that up to 300 pounds, and I'm squatting 450 pounds, and will try and get that to 500 by this season."
Besides getting stronger, Grady is also fast, and while competing at the ESS combine in Tampa, ran a 4.51 40 yard dash and turned in a 4.05 shuttle. To further boost his stock, Grady has a 3.8 weighted GPA and scored a 1300 out of a 1600, and a 2030 out of 2400 on his SAT, and is already fully qualified.
"I should be getting an offer from Wake Forest soon," said Grady. "They came by practice today and everything went well, so hopefully that will be coming soon. Also, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and South Carolina have been talking to me heavily, so we'll see who offers me this spring."
Even though Grady was a top signal caller with schools bringing him as a QB, several are bringing him in as an athlete.
"Schools like USF, Iowa and Western Kentucky are offering me as an athlete, and then Northwestern and Iowa State are offering me as a quarterback."
Grady played quarterback for Armwood, but played safety his whole life up until high school, and played a lot of safety this spring, saying what he plays in college all depends on what school he ends up going to.
"Honestly, It all depends on what school I go to and what type of situation they have," said Grady. "At USF, they have B.J. Daniels and he should be there hopefully for two or three more years, so if I go to USF, safety may be my best option. If I go to a school like Iowa or Iowa State, where they have junior or senior QB's, then I'll probably play quarterback."
"I really don't have a preference. school I'm just going to play this spring and during the season, and see what school is my best fit, and whatever school that may be, then I'll play wherever I can help them out the most, whether it's at quarterback or safety."
USF offered Grady as an athlete, but which position he plays or what side of the ball is not set in stone.
"Coach Shank said he's not sure what position I'll play, it'll be quarterback, safety or receiver," said Grady. "I'll have to see how my spring and summer goes."
It's early in the recruiting process, but already several schools are standing out to the Armwood athlete.
"Right now I have a top two," said Grady. "Obviously USF, due to a lot of things, including their location, and Iowa, and add Northwestern because of their academics into my top three. Depending on who offers me this spring it could fluctuate."
"I saw Iowa play in the Orange bowl, they have a lot of history, and all the coaches have been there ten plus years, and they were the first school to offer me. Northwestern is known as one of the better academic institutions, and they offered me as a QB and throw the ball around 50-times a game, so I like that."
Grady said besides being right around the corner from him and is the home town team, the Bulls have a lot that stands out to him that put them at the top of his list of favorites.
"Me and my recruiting coordinator Coach Shankweiler talk a lot, and not just about football, but about school," said Grady. "Academics are very important to me, and USF has one of the top medical schools in the country. That's definitely a big plus because I may want to be a doctor someday."
"I also love talking to Coach Skip Holtz," said Grady. "He seems like a real down to earth guy, that you could talk with about anything, and that's another big plus for them. I call Coach Holtz probably twice a week."
"I like all the coaches at USF, and the other day I talked to offensive coordinator Todd Fitch, and he seems like a real down to earth guy as well."
Grady has also visited USF several times this spring, catching a couple of practices, and also attended the Bulls spring game, and liked what he saw.
"I loved the way they practiced and played, it's a lot like Armwood," said Grady. "It's fast paced, up-tempo, the coaches don't over coach, but you can tell the players are ready on every play. It also is educational, the coaches don't do a lot of yelling and it seems like a classroom out there and I liked every aspect of it."
Grady grew up watching USF football has plenty of connections to the hometown team. He used to play for assistant coach Marquel Blackwell, who also played at USF, while he was at freedom, and is friends with several players including Star DE Ryne Giddins.
"I've known Ryne since I was 13 years old. Every time I see Ryne we talk about football and the recruiting process. Not necessarily about coming to USF, but what to expect and what to look for."
"I also knew Jarriett Buie and his little brother plays on our team now. I talk to Lindsay Lamar and Angelo Hadley is talking about trying to go there, so I know quite a few people there."
With Josh possibly making a switch from quarterback to safety at the next level, he got to talk to a former Bull who did the same thing, and it got rewarded very well for doing so, Nate Allen who just got drafted in the second round by the Eagles.
"I talked to Nate right before he left for the NFL combine. He was talking to me about making the change from a high school QB to a college safety, and making it to the NFL. And that may be a similar situation for me, so it was good to talk to him."
Grady does know what is important to him in making his college choice.
"It's definitely academics over everything. I want to go to a school where I can excel in the classroom and on the field. Coaching style is important, and as long as the head coach is a down to earth person like our coach Callahan, then that's the type of school I want to go to. As long as I'm able to get on the football field at whatever position I play is attractive to me as well."
After being offered from programs across the country, Grady said that Location isn't a big factor.
"No location isn't a big factor, my parents have been blessed, so they could come see me play where ever I go," said Grady. "Location isn't a factor, but for USF being right in my backyard, is a plus because both of my parents can come easily to every game."
This summer Grady plans on being very busy visiting schools, and going to team camps to learn as much as he can so he can make an educated choice.
"Every school that has offered me I'll go visit, whether it be junior days, team camps, or just take a vist to check them out," said Grady. "Once I get my top ten trimmed down, then I'll make y visit plans. I know I'll be going to Northwestern on June 16th, I'll go to Iowa, USF and whatever schools that offered me that I like."
"Even though he doesn't have an exact time frame for when he'll make his college choice, Grady indicated that he may be making it earlier rather than later.
"I'll want to be making my choice at the latest by the end of the season or before the end, but if possible it could be during the summer," said Grady. "I want to make it as early as possible, so I know what school I'm going to, because I may enroll early."
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