Commitment Date: 6/17/15
Commitment in the Class: Ninth
Accolades: Rated the No.1 inside linebacker in Ohio, No.1 in the Midwest and No.10 in the country … Columbus Dispatch All-Metro selection and first-team All-Ohio Capital Conference as a senior, recording 151 tackles, 13 TFLs, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, interception and 9 pass breakups ... special mention All-Metro and second-team All-OCC as a junior, finishing with 119 tackles, 13 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions and 5 pass breakups ... team MVP as a senior ... two-year team captain ... finished three-year varsity career with 285 tackles, 28 TFLs, 12.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, 14 pass breakups and 3 blocked punts ... also lettered in basketball ... mother played basketball at UMass from 1987-91 and was team’s leading scorer as a senior ... uncle, Mark Grady, played football at Eastern Illinois from 1987-91.
Recruiting Story: Wanting to build the Pitt program with tough, blue-collared players, head coach Paul Chryst and offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph made Grady one of their top priorities, offering him during the fall of his junior season. When the duo moved to Wisconsin, Grady vaulted to the top of their recruiting chart.
By mid-April, Wisconsin hosted Grady on an unofficial visit and offered him a scholarship, leaving Grady impressed with the Badgers’ campus, the physicality of practice and his ability to still have a strong relationship with the coaching staff.
“Madison was an incredible college town, and the campus was amazing,” Grady said. “I know it's a special place to play college football."
Already having offers from Kentucky and Northwestern prior to UW, Grady saw Cincinnati, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia extend offers and Michigan State and Oklahoma bring strong interest.
“If I get into the official visit period without making a decision, then I will take some visits,” Grady said. “If some of these schools need an answer before, I might have to speed up the process. Nobody is pressuring me yet at all.”
While Wisconsin didn’t pressure him, things changed when Noah Burks and Dallas Jeanty committed on the same day in June, leaving only one linebacker spot remaining in UW’s class that the Badgers staff wanted Grady to fill. Knowing that, Grady drove up to Wisconsin, made sure it was the right fit and ended his recruitment.
Why Wisconsin? “They have a great mix of football and academics. I loved the campus, and the coaching staff let me know I was the type of player they want at Wisconsin. This was exactly what I'm looking for in my college experience, and I think I've known for a while that Wisconsin was the school for me.”
Scouting Report: While he doesn’t have track speed, Grady has pure football speed and can come downhill and take on blockers, before making the tackle. A three-down player, he has the skill set that should allow him to succeed in man coverage or drop into zone. There are not too many concerns to be honest, other than needed to get stronger and add bulk, especially to his upper body, but Grady fits the Wisconsin style perfectly. – Scout’s Ohio recruiting analyst Bill Greene
Coach’s Quote: “Our recruiting model is we’re looking for that 6-3, 215-225 pound kid that’s long and can do multiple things. He’s an explosive player. You watch him play basketball and watch his YouTube clips, he replicated the Joe Schobert between-the-legs dunk. You see those same type of athletic things in him that you saw in Schobert.” – Wisconsin outside linebacker coach Tim Tibesar
BadgerNation Prediction: A kid who embraces the physical Big Ten style, and the chilly weather, Grady might be the most talented player in this class. He can do so many things that impact a defense positively – solid pursuit angles, reading routes, embracing contact, tackling and playing disciplined. The kid is Midwest tough, too. Grady has a motor that can be contagious to his teammates. Already a solid all-around player, leader on the field and solid in the classroom, Grady has tremendous upside that will yield dividends for Wisconsin’s defense.