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Recruiting notebook: Armwood's Grady has offers to play quarterback, safety

Armwood’s Josh Grady is receiving offers to play quarterback and safety in college.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Armwood’s Josh Grady is receiving offers to play quarterback and safety in college.

Josh Grady has a big decision to make. But he knows this: He'll be happy with whatever one he makes.

Grady has some of the best universities in the country offering him scholarships. As a student, it's win-win.

As a football player?

It's offense-defense.

Grady, who threw for nearly 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for Armwood, has 25 offers, and 16 of those are to play quarterback.

The other nine are as an athlete, or in other words, safety.

"Oh, it's definitely fine with me, I can play either," Grady said. "I'm used to playing quarterback, but then I'd like the opportunity to play safety and make big plays and make some hits instead of getting hit."

The position a college offers a player often can determine whether it gets that player to commit. It is assumed that those offering Plant's James Wilder Jr. at running back have the inside track compared with those who only want him as a linebacker. Others, like Jefferson's Quentin Williams — a lifelong quarterback — make it clear he will play only that position in college.

Grady says he is wide open to the possibility of switching to the other side.

"I love hitting people," Grady said. "When I play sandlot football with the guys, Matt Jones, A.J. King, I always play defense. I'm aggressive, I can play defense."

Grady played defense in youth ball and some his freshman season at Freedom. At Armwood, he has played only quarterback but says he plans on taking part in some of the team's hitting drills, chuckling, "as long as coach (Sean Callahan) doesn't see me."

During the spring, he played defensive back during a seven-on-seven tournament and drew rave reviews after finishing with four interceptions and six pass deflections.

He emerged as a legitimate quarterback recruit after doubts about his size and arm strength. This spring, Iowa was the first to offer and others quickly followed. He added an extra 10 yards to his deep ball, ran a 4.51 time in the 40 and added significant brawn and muscle to his 6-foot, 195-pound frame.

Being open to anything makes a decision easier for Grady, and one he plans on making this season.

"It's not really a big deal because I'm not going to choose based on a position anyway," he said. "I'm going to pick a school that has great academics and is a place that I feel is like a home away from home."

CARAVAN: As for being away from home, that's exactly what the Hawks senior is this weekend.

Grady, teammate A.J. King, Alonso's Anthony Chickillo, Freedom's Keith Lewis, Lakewood's Dante Fowler and Robinson's Ruben Gonzalez and Frankie Williams are driving together to visit colleges this weekend. They left Thursday and will hit Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee.

DIXON ON THE ROAD: Countryside's Alex Dixon was going to join the recruiting caravan, but instead will unofficially visit Auburn with his mother and younger brother.

Next Thursday, Dixon will fly to North Carolina for an unofficial visit. The Tar Heels are one of the schools very hot after the senior defensive back, along with Auburn and USF.

July 23, he will attend the Friday Night Lights event in Gainesville, and then compete with the Cougars at the USF Sling-n-Shoot July 24-25.

Dixon is not ranking schools yet, but he said he wants to visit Clemson, Kentucky and Tennessee before making any decisions.

BIG NEWS, OR NOT: The big news of the week was James Wilder Jr. committing to Florida … or not.

Wednesday night, recruiting analyst J.C. Schurburtt tweeted "Got an e-mail from James Wilder saying he had committed to Florida."

That was picked up by a few recruiting sites, and the rumor spread in a matter of minutes. Schurburtt warned in another tweet a few minutes later he was checking and it could be a hoax, but by then it was too late.

Turns out, the e-mail wasn't from Wilder, but most likely a fake one that was used to set up an alternate James Wilder Jr. Facebook page.

On James Wilder Jr.'s real Facebook page, he says he is looking forward to his visit to Georgia.

On that alternate page, Fake James Wilder Jr. declares "You know what. I just changed my. No more visit to georgia. I'm committing to Florida. GATOR NATION BABY!! lol. Thanks everyone in the recruiting process for taking a look at me but this is just the right fit. We're gonna win national championships and it's gonna be great."

It was hard to believe that Wilder, as much as he seems to enjoy the attention of the recruiting process, would make his decision via status update on Facebook, when he'll probably be able to do so live on ESPN while shining some of the spotlight on Plant and its other top recruits, lineman Tony Posada and quarterback Phillip Ely.

Twitter was still buzzing Thursday over Fake James Wilder, who might now be famous enough to start getting his own offers.

John C. Cotey can be reached at (813) 406-0530 or johncotey@gmail.com.

Recruiting notebook: Armwood's Grady has offers to play quarterback, safety 07/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 16, 2010 10:15pm]
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