One of the nation’s elite defensive backs has been a bit lonely during his senior season.
“I’ve been kind boring on defense,” said Jacksonville (Fla.) White corner Dawayne Grace. “I don’t have any interceptions because nobody will throw the ball my way. I’ve only had three passes come my way all season. It gets a little frustrating, but I guess you can’t blame them.”
No, you can’t.
Grace (6-1, 172, 4.4) is the kind of cover man all the nation’s premier programs are chasing in the recruiting game. He’s rated the No. 13 corner in the Class of 2004 by Rivals.com, sporting offers from Miami, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, Maryland, Auburn, Michigan, Purdue and South Carolina, among a host of others.
“I’ve narrowed things down a little bit,” he said. “I’m mainly looking at Maryland, Miami, Florida, Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia and Purdue. I’ve got a visit set up with Maryland for Dec. 19. I was originally going to Miami on that date, but I’ll reschedule that one. I know I’m going to visit Florida, too. The other two are between Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia and Purdue.”
Grace maintains that he doesn’t have a favorite at this point, but noted that he grew up following the Sunshine State’s “Big Three.”
“I always loved Miami,” he said. “They were always my favorite, but I liked the other ones too. I always pulled for all three of them. But Miami has had some great teams, and they’re always up there playing for a championship. They always have great DBs.
“I like Florida’s coaches. They’re real nice guys. I could see myself fitting in real well around them. There’s also been some talk about our coach getting a job there, too. That would be cool.
“Florida State is having a good season. I like their defensive style. And it’s real close to home. I’m probably leaning toward staying in state right now. I’d say they have a slight edge.”
If the out-of-state schools have a chance, it may be on selling playing time.
“I’m looking at Maryland hard because they’re losing six DBs,” Grace said. “They told me I’m definitely going to have a chance to come in and play right away if I go there. Same thing with Purdue. I know I can get on the field early there.”
As a junior, Grace picked off four passes.
Academically, he maintains a 2.8 GPA and has scored a 910 on the SAT. He projects as a full-qualifier.