It doesn’t sound as if Curtis Grant, the No. 1-ranked football prospect in Virginia this year, is going to stay in state for college.
I can’t say I’m 100-percent sure, even though Jamie Oakes of the new 247Sports.com network has Grant on record as saying he told Virginia’s staff of his decision after attending the Cavaliers’ game Saturday with VMI.
“It was a tough decision but Virginia is no longer in the running,” Grant was quoted by Oakes on the Wahoos247.com website. “I talked with coach [Mike] London about it and I just want to leave the state for college.”
Nobody does a better job of covering UVa football recruiting than Oakes, who until recently was with the rivals.com site called cavscorner.com. But, just to have a different spin on the situation, I contacted Grant’s coach at Hermitage High School, Patrick Kane.
“He has not made any decisions on what he’s going to do at this point,” Kane said Wednesday. “I would not take that as accurate.”
When I mentioned that Grant had been quoted to the effect that he was no longer considering Virginia, Kane said, “Oh, really. What did the quotes say?”
Grant told Oakes, “I had good talks with all of the members of the Virginia staff. With the news out of the way, we just talked about life and just general catching up.”
Kane said he had never spoken to Oakes. I find that somewhat hard to believe, but I know that many of the Internet reporters speak directly to the players.
First-hand is better than second-hand, but, to me, coaches often can provide a better evaluation of a recruiting situation. Maybe I’m old-school about that.
“He’d [Grant] talked to the Virginia coaches way before now about what their status is in his recruitment,” Kane said. “His whole plan has been, he’s not going to address any recruiting till after the season’s over, but he has told certain schools where they stand when they’ve called and talked to him.
“But, he’s never said he wanted to play it out in the press or anything like that. It would strike me as odd if it came out that way, but I wasn’t there, so I guess I really can’t say anything.
“My comment is, ‘He has not stated a top anything or a bottom anything to the press at all. He has informed individual schools what their status is when they’ve called and spoken to him.’
“Outside of that, he hasn’t done anything for public knowledge. The statement that he informed them of his status at the game would not be accurate.”
Would Kane say that Grant is “leaning” toward going out of state.
“He doesn’t want it out there in the press, so I can’t say either way,” Kane said.
Nobody has done a better job than Kane of dealing fairly with the state programs. He has sent the likes of first-round NFL draft pick Duane Brown to Virginia Tech and players such as Jeffrey Fitzgerald and Jameel Sewell to Virginia.
One of his current players, defensive end Diamonte Bailey, has committed to the Cavaliers in 2011.
Even Grant left the window slightly ajar when he told Oakes, “Nothing is final until I sign, so I guess anything is possible.”
Grant had a lot of positive things to say about Virginia in his interview with Oakes and I doubt that either the Cavaliers or Virginia Tech will stop recruiting him.
But, if I were a Hokies’ or Cavaliers’ fan, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.