ATHENS — OK, just to be clear, and Davin Bellamy wanted this clear: He is definitely not comparing freshman linebacker Walter Grant to — no, he is certainly not comparing him to — Leonard Floyd.
“Just because he has 84, I don’t want to say that,” Bellamy said, grinning. “But they have a lot of the same mannerisms on the field. Number 84 too. They’ve got the same helmet. They just look alike on the field, and they kind of run the same, and get in their stance the same.”
But just to be clear …
“You all are gonna be like, ‘Oh he’s the next Leonard Floyd,'” Bellamy said, gently chiding the media, making clear that he is not saying that Grant is just like Floyd, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Is that clear? Got it? Good.
But Bellamy sure is impressed with the freshman. Grant’s name came up when Bellamy was asked to name a freshman who wasn’t getting talked about much but has stood out. Grant, a product of Cairo High School in southern Georgia, was rated a 4-star recruit by 247Sports, No. 200 overall in the country.
Grant won’t start right away, what with Bellamy, Lorenzo Carter and junior D’Andre Walker already in place at linebacker. But it sounds as if Grant has a bright future, based on Bellamy’s statements. In fact, there were too many good quotes to not include, so here are three of them:
- “Just a natural football player, not scared of contact. You know how you can just see one of those, who’s a natural football player, who has an instinct for where the ball is going to be? He’s very physical. Yeah, man, he’s just a football player. He’s real gritty.”
- “What stands out is the way he chases down plays that could be all the way down the field. And you see one or two guys just sprinting all the way down to the other side of the field. It’s usually Walter. Yeah, just that motor he’s got.”
- “He learned the playbook fast. Faster than probably [any] freshman I’ve been around here, including myself. He plays really hard also. This class practices really hard.”
So what kind of playing time is available? Bellamy opined that Grant could play a similar role to roles Bellamy and Carter had as backups to Floyd and Jordan Jenkins.
“The way we plan on playing, being fast and relentless, we’re going to need those breaths sometimes,” Bellamy said. “Like I said, he picked up the playbook so fast that the coaches aren’t afraid to put him in there. And when he is in there he plays really hard. So you’re going to run into some plays if you play hard. He can be that guy for us.”