It’s secure to say tremendous senior linebacker Antonio Grier is grateful to be at Arkansas for his closing yr of school eligibility.
The switch from South Florida met with the media for the primary time Thursday and made it clear that he feels blessed to be within the place he is in.
“Man, it has been nothing however a blessing,” Grier mentioned. “My religion introduced me right here. I’m simply grateful to be right here. I’m having enjoyable. I’m not even gonna misinform you. I’ve been having a lot enjoyable simply being across the group.
“The group introduced me in as a switch and never treating me as an outsider. Treating me like household to be trustworthy. I’m so near a few of these guys round right here. Talk to them day by day and so they assist me out. Trying to determine my method all through campus or college or no matter it might be. I’m having enjoyable and grateful to be right here.”
Grier even despatched out a tweet following the press convention, saying “Im simply blissful to be right here!”
The 6-foot-1, 228 pound linebacker was a second group All-American Athletic Conference choice for USF in 2022, when he led the group with 92 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. He additionally tied for the team-lead with two interceptions and two compelled fumbles.
Grier appeared to hit it off with new Arkansas defensive coordinator Travis Williams, and Grier even dedicated to Williams on Dec. 12 whereas he was nonetheless the defensive coordinator at UCF. Once Williams made the transfer to Fayetteville, Grier adopted go well with on Jan. 7.
One may assume that the native of Atlanta needed to comply with Williams for his defensive prowess and talent to develop Grier into an excellent higher linebacker. Well, that wasn’t precisely the case.
“I regarded on the offense,” Grier mentioned. “I have a look at the offense and so they’re gonna rating some factors this yr. I noticed the fellows that they had, quarterback and working again, and I used to be like, ‘man they’re gonna rating some factors.’
“I believe we have the perfect working again, quarterback combo in faculty soccer this yr. I wholeheartedly consider that. This group believes that. I ain’t gonna misinform you. Just that and my religion introduced me right here.”
Grier went on so as to add that he is grateful for Williams and head coach Sam Pittman giving him the chance to be a Razorback.
As far as what he can do on the sphere, Grier has been there and executed that. He has 5 years of school soccer underneath his belt and that ought to profit an Arkansas linebacker group that misplaced vital contributors from final yr in Bumper Pool and Drew Sanders.
“I’ve performed numerous ball,” Grier mentioned. “There’s no on-the-field or off-the-field stuff. I’ve performed numerous ball. I’ve seen numerous issues, numerous schemes, been in numerous schemes, so I’ve been round faculty soccer for some time. It’s my management expertise.”
While he might’ve are available in and set the tone because the oldest man, Grier made it clear that he had no intentions of stepping on any toes. Returners similar to Chris “Pooh” Paul Jr. and Jordan Crook have been right here, and Grier simply needed to be part of the group.
“I instructed the fellows like Jordan and I instructed Pooh, ‘This is y’all’s room,'” Grier mentioned. “‘I understand how it’s for a switch to come back in and attempt to take over your room. I’m not coming right here to do this. I’m coming right here to be part of this group, be part of this linebacker room, and I’ll assist the place I must.’
“I didn’t need to step on toes. I didn’t need to do an excessive amount of. I simply needed to develop into part of this group. With that, me telling them that, they accepted me wholeheartedly. We’ve been constructing the perfect bond that I might ask for — not simply the linebacker room; the protection as an entire. There’s no linebackers, there’s no D-line, there’s no DBs. We’re all simply kicking all of it collectively and have enjoyable altogether.”
While Grier remained humble and mentioned he simply needs to contribute, it’s no secret that he brings a much-needed veteran voice to a youthful defensive group.
“I’d say the most important function that he introduced is a extremely huge management function,” defensive finish Landon Jackson mentioned. “He’s all the time speaking. In the load room he’s all the time clapping it up, cheering us on, and he all the time brings a way of pleasure in no matter room he walks in. He’s all the time smiling, all the time in a very good temper.
“I’d say that’s the most important factor, simply his management. He’s one other brother. He didn’t are available in, like he mentioned, attempting to step on toes or disrespect anyone. He simply got here in desirous to be part of the brotherhood and convey some management. I believe he’s actually executed that.”
Grier and the Razorbacks will hit the apply subject for the eleventh time this spring on Saturday morning. Every week from Saturday, Arkansas will maintain its Red-White spring recreation on Saturday, April 15, at midday CT inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.