- Brad Bournival, RecruitingNation
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Fifth Down is a series at BuckeyeNation where we chat with impact players in Ohio State athletics.
Doran Grant will likely never forget Saturday's 29-15 win over UAB. Pressed into a starting role, the sophomore recorded seven tackles, one sack, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass to keep the Buckeyes afloat in the secondary.
But that's something the 5-foot-11, 188-pound cornerback has been doing for quite some time.
A two-time all-state selection at Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary, he recorded 203 tackles and had six interceptions for the Fighting Irish. He also made 88 catches for 1,115 yards and added 25 touchdowns on offense.
Named to the Under Armour, Ohio North-South and Big 33 all-star games, Grant was also a state champion in the 110-meter hurdles (outdoor) and 60-meter hurdles (indoor).
BN: What did it mean to get that start against UAB on Saturday?
Grant: It was my chance to show the coaches and Buckeye Nation what I could do, but I had a lot of support from Travis [Howard] and Bradley [Roby].
BN: What has Roby taught you in your time here?
Grant: Ever since I stepped in, it's been very positive. He's been like a big brother. He and Travis, I appreciate and love them both.
BN: You played in the same area with teammate Christian Bryant growing up, tell me about that bond?
Grant: Me and Christian ran track together, I knew him growing up through sports. We just love and respect each other.
BN: Who was faster?
Grant:Honestly, Christian was faster when we were younger, but I think I can get him right now.
BN: How long have you been waiting for a moment like that with the interception?
Grant: I've wanted it since I stepped on campus. It was very exciting, especially when the older guys came to me and congratulated me.
BN: How much have you grown as a player since you've been here?
Grant: I feel like I've grown a lot. The game and how you see it is way different than high school. I think that was the biggest part. Winter conditioning and film has helped me with that. It's the knowledge of the game, the game speed and understanding what I have to do when I'm on the field.
BN: How about patience -- how difficult has it been for you to wait before you can come out and make plays like you did against UAB?
Grant: I do what I have to do. It's like Coach [Luke] Fickell and Coach [Mike] Vrabel say, 'Make the play when it comes your way.' I try to make the play all the time.
BN: How much have you grown under Urban Meyer?
Grant: A lot. He's way more than a coach. Some people might think he's crazy, but that's just enthusiasm. That's what you need for Ohio State football.
BN: How much different is the game speed at the college level?
Grant: Last year, I thought it was way faster than high school, but as I grew as a player and understood things, it wasn't as fast as I thought it would be.
Reserve cornerback Doran Grant was a major part of Saturday's victory over UAB with his contributions all over the field, stuffing the stats sheet as Ohio State closed out its nonconference schedule.