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Early Bloomer: Grant a Wildcats’ playmaker for three years running
Ravon Grant
Ravon Grant runs the ball in game at Northside - photo by Gerald Thomas III

When he was a freshman, Ravon Grant saw playing time for the Richmond Hill Wildcats sporadically.

But now, the junior wide receiver serves as a focal point of the Wildcat offense this season.

The 16-year-old born in Hinesville and raised in Richmond Hill picked up football at age four, competing in a flag league.

“I have a football background,” Grant said. “My dad played but he didn’t really do the best because of grades so he pushed me to be as good as I can in the classroom.”

When he arrived at Richmond Hill High School, Grant said that he was frightened about the physicality of high school football – that was until he was put in a varsity game.

“It was scary seeing all those big guys on the field,” he recollected. “I was like 115 when I came in as a freshman, so I was scared to get contact. But when they put me in, it wasn’t that hard. I just did me.”

Now standing 5 foot 10 and 160 lbs., Grant has self-reflected on his personal growth, giving credit to former Richmond Hill receiver, Jordan Clark who is now playing at Savannah State.

“I improved in my route running, my leadership, and my catching ability,” Grant observed. “I grew in everything pretty much because all the older guys that were here before me taught me everything before they went to good colleges like Jordan.”

The boost of confidence assisted Grant in reeling in six receptions for 41 yards and returning a kickoff for 82 yards against Burke County on Sept. 3.

This was the junior’s first game of the season as he missed the Beaufort game by being one of the 54 players that was quarantined.

“It felt good taking leadership and doing my part to the best I could,” Grant said about his performance. “And then I was able to help others like Nick (Bliss) do his best.”

Receivers coach Austin Sapp considers Grant an early bloomer and a versatile athlete on the field with his early playing time along with catching ability paired with speed.

“Ravon has been a leader since he was young,” Sapp said. “Ever since he was a freshman, he had varsity snaps in the playoffs. He was a part of those couple of runs we made in the playoffs. And it’s shown this year. He’s been a leader in the receiver group and made a ton of plays and been a big part of our offense. He has sure hands. You can do a lot of different stuff with him. We put him in the backfield and flex him out to the slot as well as out wide. He can do it all and it’s been a big part of our offense so far.”

To prepare for the Friday night lights, Grant enjoys a couple sweet snacks and listen to music before taking the field.

“Before a game I snack on some Little Bites and Skittles,” Grant said. “Then I just chill, listen to music, and get right with my team. I listen to Jdot, Youngboy, Rod Wave, Lil Durk, Drake. I’m very versatile with my music.”

Head coach Matt LeZotte saw a special product since Grant came into the high school scene two seasons ago.

“Ravon’s been a guy that we’ve always seen the potential in,” LeZotte said. “He’s becoming a guy that practices at a very high level all the time. He’s able to make mistakes and reset and refocus. A lot of that has to do with overall maturity. Being a junior in high school, he’s become a lot more mature and able to handle more on his plate. Because of that, he’s become very valuable in all of our packages and is one of our primary weapons on offense.”

Coming from a Hispanic background, Grant goes by the nickname ‘Papi,’ which is used for play packages that included him.

The nickname was giving to him by his mother, who could be heard shouting his moniker in any stadium that the Wildcats play in.

To pair with his desire of Skittles, Grant is a fan of Marshawn Lynch, who ate the candy after scoring a touchdown during his time in the NFL.

He also looks up to a couple of NFL wide receivers due to how well they play the position.

“I was a fan of Marshawn Lynch,” Grant said. “I like DK Metcalf and Stefon Diggs because I look up to them because of how good their route running is to be like them.”

Grant also competes on the track and field team where he runs in the 400-meter hurdles, 4x4, and long jump periodically.

He qualified for state competitions in the 400.

The next time Grant will take the field will be on Sept. 17 when the Wildcats travel to Warner Robins to take on Northside.

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