'I'm a Rebel'

Uriah Grant

Uriah Grant committed to Ole Miss Sunday following an official visit to the school. His recruitment was done. Over. He had his mind made up.

Then Miami (Fla.) applied pressure. The Hurricanes offered Grant recently. A Florida native, Grant listened, albeit briefly.

When reached by phone Tuesday night, Grant, who starred for Fullerton (Calif.) College last season, wasn't backing down from his commitment to Ole Miss. He's too old for the drama that often comes with the recruiting process.

"I talked to my coach, and I told him I have no interest even taking a visit or anything," Grant said. "I told Coach (Terry) Price. I told Coach (Houston) Nutt. I'm committed to Ole Miss. That's where I'm coming. There's no second guess. There's no turning back.

Uriah Grant

"I feel like I'm old enough to where when I make a commitment, I'm going to stand by it."

Grant, by his own admittance, favored Ole Miss long before he committed Sunday. Price and Nutt were instrumental in his decision to choose the Rebels over Washington, his other finalist. Miami came in late.

"I told my position coach, Coach Price, ‘I'm a man of my word.' If I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it," Grant said.

"You ain't got to worry about me going and looking at another school, cause my recruitment and all that is over. I'm a Rebel. I let (the Ole Miss coaching staff) know that."

Recruiting can be a change-by-the-day practice. New developments seem to pop up with prospective recruits constantly. Grant gets frustrated by it. He reads the stories of high-profile recruits committing and de-committing numerous times.

"It kind of does (get frustrating), because I know that other school wouldn't like one of their top recruits doing that to them," he said. "I look online at a lot of high school guys, a lot of junior college guys, who are committed to one school. But another school, a bigger school will come and talk to them, and they'll just de-commit out of nowhere. Without a hesitation, they'll just de-commit. I don't understand how guys do that.

"I'm not that type of guy."

All that is left for Grant, rated a three-star defensive tackle by Scout.com, is drying the ink on a national letter of intent. He intends to sign with Ole Miss Feb. 2 -- National Signing Day. Grant held offers from, among others, Ole Miss, Washington, Miami, Arizona and Baylor.

"I'm the type of guy, and Coach Price and Coach Nutt recognized this, I'm a guy with enthusiasm. That's one of the big reasons I chose to go to Mississippi," he said. "The whole staff, I loved their enthusiasm for football. I don't want to go to a place where the coaches are just going through the motions.

"The coaches made a statement that they need a guy with leadership -- a guy that's going to come in, work hard and is going to give 110 percent every play."

Arguably Ole Miss' top target at defensive tackle, Grant played in all 11 games for Fullerton last season.

Uriah Grant

He had 42 total tackles, including 23 solos, 17 tackles for loss and six sacks. He also blocked a kick. He fills an immediate need for the Rebels, who lost four defensive tackles to graduation.

"Nobody's perfect. There's always something in your game you need to tune up, or stuff you need to get better at," Grant said. "For me, that'll be a better knowledge of blocking schemes. When I was here at the junior college, I probably saw every blocking scheme -- double teams, triple teams, traps, everything teams threw at me.

"Usually it took me after the first quarter to really see what was going on. But I want to see that from the first play. I want to just get better with getting the blocking schemes when it happens, not waiting two or three series to see what they're doing."

Ole Miss, a year removed from back-to-back nine-win seasons, was a disappointing 4-8 last season. The Rebels were 1-7 in Southeastern Conference play, their only league win coming over Kentucky.

But to Grant, a May graduate, Ole Miss has the potential to rebound as quickly as next season. He's encouraged by the players returning, as well as the pieces being added in the signing class of 2011. He draws comparisons between Ole Miss and an SEC West foe, Auburn.

The Tigers added key pieces following an 8-5 season in 2009, leading to a national championship earlier this month.

"I believe we can turn it around as soon as this year," Grant said. "You look at Auburn. The year before, Auburn was nowhere even close to being in BCS contention. They get one or two players, and the whole program is changed around. Me coming in, I'm going to say the same things to the younger guys; just work hard and put in everything you got.

"There's no fun in losing. Why not give all you got in the weight room? Why not give all you got in the classroom, on the field? And when the winning comes, it'll just be easy. So when I come in, I'm going to tell guys to just work hard. Give it your all every play, every practice, every class. The simple things like that the younger guys in high school need to take advantage of, because they was probably the man at their school. Coming into a program and a tough conference in the SEC, you know, we gotta be one. It can't be no arguing or none of that. We've got to come in from day one ready to work. That's what it's going to take to get back to the standard of Ole Miss."

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