DADE CITY – One of the top players in North Suncoast history is officially headed to Rutgers.
Pasco ATH Janarion Grant signed with the Scarlet Knights on Wednesday at a ceremony at his high school. The three-star recruit chose Rutgers despite a late push from USF and offers from Houston, West Virginia, East Carolina and others.
“It’s crazy all around,” Grant said. “Words can’t really explain it.”
Grant’s recruitment was one of the most turbulent of the year in the North Suncoast, and USF was in the middle of it. The Bulls gave Grant his first scholarship offer, after his junior season, but their interest cooled after Skip Holtz was fired in the fall. The new coaching staff restarted its recruitment of Grant about two weeks ago.
“Coaches were getting fired left and right,” Grant said. “You didn’t know what to do.”
Grant said the Bulls “weren’t right for me,” but Rutgers was. He liked the school’s academics, track record of putting players into the NFL, facilities and overall atmosphere.
The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Grant earned all-North Suncoast co-player of the year honors each of the last two seasons. He was a first-team pick in all four of his varsity seasons, and his 77 career touchdowns are believed to be the most in North Suncoast history. Grant helped the Pirates advance to the playoffs each season. Pasco reached the state semifinals in 2011 and the region final this fall.
He made his mark all over the field, spending time at quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and kick returner and is expected to settle in as a slot receiver and kick returner for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are scheduled to play in the Big East this season before jumping to the Big Ten in 2014.
“Life is life,” said Grant, Rivals’ No. 90 prospect in the state. “You gotta move on.”
Grant is also the two-time defending state champion in the long jump. His uncle, former Pasco star and NFL alumnus Darren Hambrick, stopped by the school’s ceremony.
You can see Grant's highlight reel below.
Also at Pasco, DL Joey Ivie signed with Florida. He enrolled at UF at the start of the second semester but still participated in the ceremony.
DB Damien Wilson signed with Nebraska-Kearney, and ATH Jajuan Henry is headed to Black Hills State. Softball infielder Jordan Lane signed with the College of Central Florida.
Standout running back and three-time 1,000-yard rusher David Emmanuel did not sign Wednesday. He has fielded offers from FAU and Memphis while receiving late recruiting pushes from Appalachian State and North Dakota State.