Nick Grant Returns As Most Experienced Corner At Virginia

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Nick Grant started all 14 games for Virginia.
Nick Grant returned this interception for a touchdown early in the year. ~ Kris Wright

When it comes to the 2019 Virginia football season, redshirt junior Nick Grant moved from relative obscurity as a special teams stalwart to one of the most visible positions on the field as a starting corner. Make a mistake on the former and maybe a few fans or analysts point it out. Make a mistake on the latter and a lot of fans and analysts point it out and sometimes they do it over and over via replays or social media.

Starting at cornerback is less like a Jimmy Buffett vacation island and more like a Tom Hanks alone on a deserted island in that way.

Still, Grant relished his climb up the depth chart. Unlike recruiting classmates Bryce Hall and Joe Reed, who both heard their names called in the NFL Draft last month, Grant had to wait until after the mid-way point of his freshman season to even earn the chance to select his jersey number. He worked from there to become a multi-unit special teams contributor for the next two seasons.

After that, Grant moved up to the top level of the offseason strength and conditioning development tests. He earned the right to select first in the jersey number draft – the first player other than Jordan Ellis to earn that spot in the Bronco Mendenhall era – and took the No. 1. He then battled closely with Darrius Bratton in training