This year's Newton team is loaded with talent that has caught the eye of the recruiters nationwide. Senior wide receivers Robert Lewis and Diondre Glover are potential gamebreakers.
"We went over to UGA during the summer," recalls Grant. "We told them that this was their first opportunity to prove people right about the things that have been saying about them. We remind them of the fact that people are expecting big things from you and they expect you to live up to that. The biggest thing, to me, is that they root for each other, that's unique in 2019. I hope that continues. "
On the defensive side of the ball, there is talent that has allowed a change to a more attacking style. One of main reasons is defensive end Tyon Bigby. Grant calls him a silent leader who at times seems unblockable. The pressure from Bigby could set the stage for a big-play secondary that includes junior Nyland Green, who already has an offer from Clemson and Josh Hardeman.
"It's rare when you have three or more guys on the back end you can trust in man coverage situations," says Grant. "We've got that in Nyland Green, with his dynamic ability, and with Josh Hardeman back there making plays. Then Diondre Glover and Robert Lewis are playing over there, in the secondary, too. I don't know if we will ever have this type of dynamic ability again, so we are trying to take advantage of it."
When Grant talks about the program's past, you have to respect that his is the voice of someone who has spent 11 seasons at Newton.
"When we first got here, they were coming off (1-9) and (2-8) seasons," remembers Grant. "We were in a very, very tough region with Stephenson, MLK, Douglass, Newnan (when the Ogletree brothers were down there), and East Coweta. It was scary!
“Coach Nick Collins was a major part of changing the culture and changing expectations and later Coach Banks. I have been here the through some lowlights, but blessed to have help to build it. The one thing that has always been consistent, is there are a large number of talented kids in the area. It's just a matter of getting the kids and the community to believe in what they are capable of, and that is what he have to have. It's a BELIEVE system that you come out on Friday night and you BELIEVE that you are supposed to win. I think we are getting close to that, we're not there yet, but we are getting close."