December 21, 2010

Junior college defensive lineman looking at UW, Ole Miss

Uriah Grant will watch the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 10 with particular interest.

The 6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive lineman from Fullerton (Calif.) Community College has no ties to Oregon or Auburn. However, the odds are high Grant will face either the Ducks or the Tigers sometime next fall.

Grant, a Florida native who began his college career at Wake Forest before playing at Fullerton, just wrapped up an official visit to Washington. He will visit Ole Miss on Jan. 21 and then decide between the Huskies and the Rebels in the days thereafter.

"To be honest, I'm going to take some visits to other schools, but it's going to come down to Washington and Ole Miss," Grant said Monday afternoon.

Grant said his visit to Seattle over the weekend went "great. "I watched their practice for the bowl game (Dec. 30 in the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska), met with the coaches and all of that. They're great guys. They told me I could come in right now and make an immediate impact. …The players were fun. I had a great time with the players."

Ole Miss, meanwhile, has been in steady contact with Grant. Head coach Houston Nutt has had a pair of phone conversations with Grant and defensive line coach Terry Price has traveled to Fullerton to visit with Grant in person.

"They have a unique situation," Grant said. "They lost four seniors and they need guys to come in and start immediately."

Grant, a Miramar, Fla., native, said his experience at Fullerton has been a good one.

"As a player, I've changed a lot," Grant said. "I had a lot of pressure on my back because the players and coaches relied on me a lot because of my experience. They know I've seen every block and every scheme."

The previous college experience, Grant said, has changed his perspective on recruiting this time around.

"Coming out of high school, guys look at crowds, fans, where they can stay, whether they can live off-campus or on-campus," Grant said. "None of that matters to me. To me, it all comes down to winning."

Grant said distance from home or geography won't be a factor. The contrast between the opportunities provided by metropolitan Seattle and small-town Oxford, Miss., won't either.

"I'm going to be looking at the coach-player relationship," Grant said. "If I come in and automatically feel like I'm a part of the team, that's what I'm looking for. I'll throw all of that other stuff out. It's about winning and looking for a good academic school. I feel I can come in and make an immediate impact."

Grant, who also sports offers from Arizona, Baylor, Cincinnati, Kansas State, Middle Tennessee State, SMU, UAB and Utah State, said he's in no hurry to make a decision.

"I'm determined to wait until I take the Ole Miss visit," Grant said. "The SEC and the Pac-10 are the top two conferences right now. It's really going to come down to which school fits me best. I'll take that visit and then I'll wait a couple or three days to make my decision."

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