David Nasternak, our well-traveled videographer, made the drive to Detroit to take in what we thought was going to be a conveniently-located opportunity to see Cathedral guard and Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor. David didn’t get what he came for, though, as Ekiyor ended up sitting this game out due to injury. All’s not lost: we’re going to scout Ekiyor this weekend. David was able to come back with film of 2019 safety Marvin Grant, who received a Michigan offer back in March, from the Prep Kickoff Classic, and said film was certainly worth the trip.
Marvin Grant Every-Snap Film
Grant is #4 in black. He’s usually lined up deep over the slot.
[Hit THE JUMP for the scouting report]
I’ve only been doing this for a year, but Grant is far and away the most impressive run-stopping defensive back I’ve scouted. He’s quick to change direction out of his backpedal, and his long strides allow him to close a ton of room in a hurry. To that end, he displays an advanced ability to survey the field and recognize whether it’s a run or pass. To borrow a term Mike Zordich likes to use, he displays very good eye discipline.
The two run-stops that stand out to me are at 7:51 and 8:08. My notes for both are simply “Holy…” He’s able to erase a good amount of ground and bring down the back with violence. The only issue with his run support is a rare tendency to take a bad angle to the ball; one time he made a Peppers-esque attempt to duck under a block and it resulted in taking a line to the ball that was too flat. That was, however, atoned for by a handful of times where Grant did take the proper angle in pursuit.
Grant wasn’t asked to match up one-on-one against a receiver all that often, but he was able to stay on their hip when he drew that assignment. His hip swivel is smooth and allows him to change direction at the top of a route with ease. It’s worth noting that even when he did cover a receiver it was off of a drop; there weren’t any instances of Grant playing press man coverage. He definitely has the speed to get over the top and help a corner. At 6:02 he stays in his zone to handle the receiver running his way, then breaks for the corner of the end zone as soon as he reads which way the quarterback’s going to throw. The speed is there, the ability to read the play is there, and the reason he’s not there sooner is the call, not the skillset.
Grant is the player I had read the least about before scouting and I’m convinced that has to be solely due to his age. He seems like a perfect fit Don Brown’s defense, a guy with the skillset to play free safety, rover, or Viper. Grant can cover a ton of ground and has smooth enough hips to cover in space, but his strength at this point is run defense. Grant diagnoses plays well, and his smooth change of direction allows him to transition from dropping back to coming downhill with impressive quickness. He brings a load when he hits; his height (6’2”, 200 pounds) will likely allow him to add a few pounds in college, as well. Grant marks all the boxes on cliché bingo: he’s a speedy player who’s smooth in coverage and is a violent hitter when he’s coming downhill, and he’s only a junior.