Abilene Wylie didn’t have the strongest start last year, but it wasn’t due to not having a utility player. Cason Grant, the do-it-all guy for the Bulldogs, was in the middle of doing just about everything.
The senior to be has played nearly every position on the football field. By his own recollection, he’s played cornerback, outside linebacker, free safety, strong safety, receiver, tailback, and wildcat quarterback. Oh, and he returns kicks and punts as well.
If that seems like a lot, well, it is. Even for a 4A school where most players know the other side of the ball, if not start both ways, Grant has been everywhere.
It’s his versatility that’s his biggest strength. While certainly close, the difference between a cornerback and an outside linebacker is massive. It’s a completely different mentality, and the consistent physicality gap between the two is a harsh learning curve. That doesn’t bother Grant that much, though.
“Before I go into a game, I just have to go over everything,” Grant said. “I have to know what I’m doing at every position…I can count on the other guys to do their job and they can count on me to do mine. I just relax and go.”
Abilene Wylie struggled out of the gate against Vernon. The Bulldogs limped to a 15-9 victory, then were soundly beaten by Lubbock Monterey the next week, 37-23. Grant says that the switch for the team was flipped after that week two loss.
“After that game we just realized that we had a lot of talent, we just gotta put it to work,” he said. “We just started working together better as a team, we did everything together, and it just worked out.”
Saying that it “worked out” for Wylie might be an understatement. The Bulldogs blazed a trail all the way to the state finals in 2016, upsetting Argyle in the third round, throttling a potent Levelland offense in the fourth round, and beating Ohio State commit Baron Browning and Kennedale to make the title game.
In the finals, the Bulldogs found their match in Carthage. They quickly went up 14-0 in the first six minutes, but six total turnovers ultimately doomed Wylie as Carthage finished on top 31-17.
So, now the rebuild begins for Abilene Wylie, and it begins and ends with Cason Grant, who recently committed to Mississippi State. After trading a few quips back and forth with Grant about what position on the offensive and defensive lines he’ll play next, he drops a line that doesn’t surprise anyone.
“Well, I think I’m going to be the kicker.”
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