By BEN JOHNSON
There will be an intra-squad competition among Northeastern State’s secondary throughout the entire 2013 season.
“Of course,” NSU safety Marquintin Grant confirmed.
The goal: lead the RiverHawks in interceptions. The grand prize, though, has yet to be determined.
“Not really sure,” Grant said. “Might take somebody out to eat or something like that.”
As a redshirt freshman, Grant will be in the thick of the competition when the RiverHawks open the campaign at Pittsburg State on Sept. 7. However, he’ll have to do so as Kyler Harris’ backup at strong safety.
But that’s of no concern to Grant.
“I just want to play,” said Grant, who spent a season on the scout team in 2012. “I’m just ready.”
NSU head coach Kenny Evans concurs.
“Marquintin is a guy with great ability and great work ethic,” Evans said. “He could possibly work himself into a starting role. All he lacks is the playing experience.”
Grant joins a defensive backfield that sports plenty of Texas ties. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Grand Prairie, Texas, native is one of four Lone Star State representatives: Victor Johnson (Waco), Marquin Watts (Lewisville) and David Lewis (Mesquite). And while Grant’s South Grand Prairie team wasn’t exceptional during his senior season, that didn’t stop him from receiving several Division II offers.
“There were offers from Abilene Christian, Southeastern (Oklahoma State) and that’s really about it,” Grant said. “...I really just took what I could get. NSU offered more and I took it; and I’m really happy with the decision that I made.”
Once Grant stepped on campus in Tahlequah, he had to transfer all of his knowledge at cornerback to safety.
“I learned how to adjust,” Grant said. “I was a cornerback, and I had to move to safety because we’re short at safety. I just learned how to be a better football player, while also working on getting my technique down.
Now he’s just looking forward to working alongside guys like Harris, Johnson, Vernon Jones and others.
“I’m real excited,” he said. “I’m ready to show NSU and everyone we play what I’ve got.”