- Associated Press - Thursday, September 2, 2010

RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Curtis Grant began making an impact on his first important snap as a high school football player.

As a freshman at Hermitage High School, he was called into duty during the first round of the district playoffs when the Panthers' starting middle linebacker was injured. Highland Springs had just scored a touchdown and was lining up to attempt a 2-point conversion.

“He ran across the field and knocked the ball down, and he hasn’t stopped,” coach Patrick Kane recalled. “His first play was a daggone good one, and he’s been good ever since.”

So good, in fact, that Grant has scholarship offers from just about every major college program in the country, including Alabama. Florida and Southern Cal.

Grant, who is one of the AP’s South Region Super 25 recruits, doesn’t plan to announce his destination until after the season is over.

“You’ve just got to find a place where fit in and where you like it,” he said, adding “playing time” to the list of things he’ll factor in before finally making a choice.

In the meantime, the middle linebacker and defensive signal-caller is adding to his duties for Kane’s team, getting prepped for some time as an H-back on offense. Along with tight-end-type blocking responsibilities, Kane said he’ll get the ball in his hands, too.

“He’s 6-foot-3, 230 and runs likes a deer,” he said. “That’s a pretty good combination.”

Grant said he’ll approach having the ball the same way he approaches chasing it.

“I’ll just bring my defensive mentality to the offense,” he said.

That mentality last season led to his involvement in 154 tackles for the Panthers, and his selection to The Associated Press all-state team in Virginia’s largest classification.

Kane was unwilling to compare his star player to an NFL linebacker, but said he’s athletic like Michael Robinson, a duel-threat quarterback in the area several years ago who later played the position at Penn State. He’s now a running back for the San Francisco 49ers.