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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Samajie Grant embraces positivity, looks to lead receiver corps

Tyler Baker
Arizona receiver Samajie Grant (10) runs out of the end zone after catching the first touchdown of the game against NAU on Sept. 19, 2015. Grant will look to be the leader at receiver for Arizona football this upcoming season.

Nobody on a weekday afternoon at the Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium has a bigger smile on his face than the man wearing the navy blue No. 10 Arizona football practice jersey.

That’s exactly how UA wide receiver Samajie Grant intends to be from now until the season is over. Going into his final season at Arizona, Grant is the next man up to become the premier receiver and carry the load.

With Cayleb Jones taking the early exit to the NFL, and both David Richards and Johnny Jackson gone, the Wildcats are desperate for a leader. Rather than being the typical player that is going into his final year with a relentless, “me versus the world” type of attitude to improve his NFL draft stock, Grant is the one coaching the underclassmen.

It’s a mutual relationship between not only the other receivers, but also the team overall. Grant’s intentions are to maintain positivity as the Wildcats hit spring football in full force.

“It’s more like a fun thing because they see me having fun,” Grant said. “After so many years of what we do here, your body starts breaking up. If I’m there complaining like, ‘Oh, I don’t feel like doing this today,’ and I’m trained out then they are going to do the same thing.”

Whether it’s on the field or in the weight room, Grant has no problem making his presence known, even if that means playing off the intimidation card in a joking way. What better way to motivate an underclassman to prove his worthiness than to talk smack with a grin that stretches from cheek to cheek?

“I come out here talking smack and in the weight room and scream at everyone’s face,” Grant said. “I’m not going to lie, I thought me and Nate [Phillips] after our freshman year were going to be the hardest working freshmen Arizona has ever gotten, but these dudes in there every day pushing themselves doing weight they can’t even do.”

Grant took a step back in terms of producing, with only 301 yards and two touchdowns last season. To his credit, the Wildcats didn’t know who was going to be the quarterback on a weekly basis. With Jerrard Randall out of the picture and Anu Solomon being tested by two other quarterbacks, Grant will have a set thrower for his final season.

With a fresh slate and the offense focusing around Grant, his approach to being a leader can be compared to the personality Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has developed. Just like Newton, it comes naturally and is all about dancing with a smile regardless of the setting for Grant.

“If we’re having a 6 a.m. practice and I’m not out there having fun, I’ll be dead,” Grant said. “Literally, when I’m walking to school, I’m dancing, rapping, screaming at people … I don’t care what music I’m listening to, I just try to make myself have fun and be happy.”

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