A player to keep an eye on this year is Florida OL Grant DeBenedictis. Grant
hails from Boca Raton, where he attends St. Andrews school (“We play an
independent schedule. There are only 500 students in our school,” he said) and
does a whole bunch of things besides football. In addition to being the
goalkeeper for the school’s soccer team (“We made it to the regional
playoffs,” he said), Grant was district champ in shot put, and he also says he
plays eight instruments. All that activity hasn’t prevented him from excelling
in the classroom, where he said he has posted great marks, including a 31 ACT
and a 1370 SAT. Grant is interested in some Big Ten schools, one of which is
Ohio State. The Buckeyes are interested in him as well.
“I play guard, but Coach Conley says they want me as a tackle,” Grant
said. “They said If I come up to camp, they would probably offer.”
Grant will be camping mostly in the Big Ten region this summer.
“I’m camping at USC for three days; Northwestern, Notre Dame, and
Michigan for four days; and Ohio State for one day camp,” he said. “All of
them have said they would probably offer at camp.”
He currently lists those five as his top five. Does he have a leader?
“It was Michigan, but with Ohio State paying attention, it’s kind of
even,” he said.
“I am really flattered that the school that just won the national
championship is talking about offering me a scholarship.”
stands in at 6-6, 275 and said that he ran a 5.03 40 on Monday. So far, Central
Florida is the lone offer. One of the reasons he is interested in going to
school in this area is his roots.
“I was born in the Detroit area and lived there until the age of five,”
He is also familiar with Columbus.
“I’ve been to Columbus a number of times for the Memorial Tournament. My
dad was a PGA tour scorekeeper,” he said.
He’s already taken unofficial visits to Michigan, USC, UCLA, and Stanford.
His brother is currently at West Point. Not surprisingly, academics are going to
play a big role in his choice.
“I want to major in chemical engineering,” he said. “Academics are
going to be very important and being comfortable with the coaches. I am going to
be spending four or five years with them.”
When will a decision come?
“I am thinking I want to get it over with,” he said. “I am planning on
using the week after the camps to decide where I want to go.”