Grant gets full ride to Richmond

Published 2:47 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Franklin High School senior Justin Grant signs a letter of intent to play football on a five-year scholarship for University of Richmond as his parents, Mike Grant and Gloria Baker look on. Behind them is Franklin football coach Darrin Parker.

FRANKLIN—Franklin High School senior Justin Grant on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play football for University of Richmond.

Grant, who was named First Team All District and All Region as a wide receiver, punt returner, tight end and defensive back, will receive a five-year scholarship to play for Spiders. He is the son of Gloria Baker and Mike Grant.

“I’m excited,” Justin Grant said. “I get to go to school for free.”

“It’s great,” added Bronco Coach Darrin Parker. “This is great for Franklin football and for Franklin. This young man is moving on. He deserves it.”

Grant was among 18 who committed to play for Richmond on National Signing Day Wednesday. The university also signed Trevor Jones, who played for Franklin Tri-Rivers District rival Charles City, and Aaron Roane, who played for West Point.

Grant is a multi-sport standout who has earned team MVP honors for football, basketball and track. He played for the Broncos when the team won the football state championship in 2008 and reached the state semifinals last season. In basketball, Grant shattered a backboard dunking in a game as a junior.

During his senior year with the Broncos, Grant caught 12 interceptions and ran seven in for touchdowns. He also made eight touchdowns on 14 punt returns and caught 21 passes for 280 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Hampton University, which is Parker’s alma mater, also offered Grant a full ride.

“I just liked Richmond better,” he said. “The facilities, the atmosphere.”

Grant will be an undeclared major when he starts at Richmond this fall. He has a 2.9-grade-point average at Franklin.

His parents are excited about their son’s opportunity.

“This is something that will enhance his career,” Mike Grant said.

“It’s a relief for me,” Baker added.

James Holeman, who was the Bronco coach for wide receivers and defensive backs, said Grant is deserving of the scholarship.

“He worked extremely hard and he works hard when he doesn’t have to,” Holeman said.

Franklin High School Principal Rodney Berry was ecstatic about the news.

“He’s a role model for the students here and we are very proud of him,” Berry said.

The Spiders were 6-5 in 2010. Richmond had eight CAA Football All-Conference selections, including a league-leading seven First Team mentions.