When searching the Class of 2004 for the real speed merchants, they don’t come much better than Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson athlete Michael Grant.
Grant (6-0, 175, 4.4) was the total points leader at this year’s Georgia state track and field championships and owns school records in the 100- (10.47) and 200-meter dash. He also took second in the 200 this summer at the World Youth Games in Canada, finishing a close second to the world record holder from Jamaica.
That kind of blazing speed has track and football coaches alike salivating at the opportunity to bring future Olympic hopeful into their programs.
“I’ve been getting a bunch of calls this week,” Grant said. “A bunch of them called when I wasn’t here, so I just got messages, but I got to talk to a few coaches from Florida, Auburn and Arizona State. I just missed the Miami coach today. Arkansas and Tennessee left me messages.”
Grant has more than a dozen scholarship offers, including the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Tennessee and Texas.
“It’s making the decision even harder because I keep getting new offers from these great schools,” he said.
Grant is operating with a list of six potential leaders at this juncture.
“My top six are Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Miami, Georgia and Arizona State,” he said.
Asked to comment individually on those schools, Grant offered the following:
“With Tennessee, I love the combination of football and track there. They’re great in both. I’ve been liking Tennessee for a while now. It’s got a lot of things I’m looking for, and it’s close to home. I know two or three of their football players and a couple of their track guys. They all love it there.
“Florida is the school I grew up watching, and they just signed one of my close friends for track – Reggie Weatherspoon. I’ve known him since I was 8 years old. It would be fun to go to school together. As far as their football team is concerned, I’ve always liked the way they’ve had great team speed.
“Arkansas has been real encouraging about me doing both sports. They really encourage their athletes to run track if they want to. Plus, I think there’s a good chance to get some early playing time there. They say I can come right in and help them as a freshman.
“Miami is a great program, one of the best in the country. Like Florida, I love their team speed. They love their players fast. I like the way they train, too. They require their football players to train with the track team.
“Arizona State is a school that, if I wanted to kind of get away from home and experience some new things, would be a pretty good place. I had a cousin who went there for track. They are recruiting some good people I know for track, and they’ve got a pretty good football program. I think I could come in and help them early.”
Grant said he won’t make any decisions until taking some official visits. He’s yet to arrange any of those.
Stephenson opened its season last week with a 19-10 win over Chattahoochee. Showcasing his versatility, Grant had a 28-yard touchdown run, a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown, a blocked punt, a fumble recovery and four tackles.
Off the field, Grant is also in good shape with a 3.0 GPA and a 1080 on the SAT.