March 8, 2013

Name: Curtis Grant
Class: Junior
Hometown: Richmond, Va.
High School: Hermitage
: LB

2012 Recap: Saw action in eight games and had eight tackles, including two solo and six assisted.

2013 Outlook: With a year under his belt under a new coaching staff, Grant is expected to compete for one of the starting linebacker jobs for an Ohio State defense which ranked 34th in total defense in 2012.

Q: How does the loss of four starters on the defensive line affect the linebackers?
A: “We are all young in our front seven. We (the linebackers) basically just have to put in extra work to make up for the loss of those guys so we can all become better as a unit.”

Q: Does that make it harder to do your job as a linebacker?
A: “It actually makes it more fun because the pressure is on you, so you have to take your game to the next level in order to succeed.”

Q: How does having a year under your belt with this coaching staff give you an advantage over younger guys?
A: “You already know what the expectations are. You come into practice every day and it’s straightforward, no sugar coating. You know what the day is going to be like when you step into the Woody.”

Q: Has anyone emerged as a leader of this team in just the two practices thus far?
A: “We definitely have a few leaders on defense already. Guys like Christian Bryant and Bradley Roby, along with the other seniors have stepped up.”

Q: Do you see yourself potentially taking on a leadership role?
A: “We’re pretty young as a team, but I’m just trying to be a leader for some of those younger guys because I’ve been here. Coach Fickell always says `If you can’t lead, follow… and one day you’ll become a leader.'”

Q: What’s your greatest attribute as a linebacker?

A: “I’ve always been told my greatest strengths are my passion and energy. When I don’t have those two things it’s like the whole team is kind of down. But when I do it really helps us out.”

Q: The offense returns a lot of starters and is getting a lot of coverage, but what’s one thing people should know about this defense?
A: “We’re coming, that’s all they need to know. The defense is coming together and we’re going to keep working hard.”

— John Samuelson, Ohio State Athletics Communications student assistant