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49ers Close Draft with LB Grant in the 7th


The 49ers wrapped up their 2008 NFL Draft by selecting Ohio State linebacker Larry Grant with the seventh pick of the seventh round.

Grant, a Bay Area native who was born in Santa Rosa was at his grandmother's house back in Sacramento when he received the phone call from the 49ers.

"It's a true blessing to me and my family," said Grant. "I'm happy. I was a diehard, lifelong 49ers fan so this is the best situation I could ever be in. I'm excited for this opportunity, my family is excited. We are all 49ers fans, diehard, and now it's even better. It's crazy."

Grant split his high school years between California and Georgia where he played running back, the position he just knew to be true to his heart. His coach at the City College of San Francisco had other plans for him and enlisted Grant on defense. In 24 games over two seasons at City College, Grant recorded 175 tackles (119 solos) with 10 sacks and 20.5 stops for losses, as he caused seven fumbles, recovered three others and deflected six passes. He also gained 63 yards with a touchdown on six interceptions and set both California junior college and NJCAA career records with 12 blocked kicks, scoring on a 65-yard punt runback.

Grant transferred to Ohio State in 2006, where he was the first junior college transfer signed by head coach Jim Tressel. He backed up all three starting linebackers (mostly played in the middle), earning his only start in 12 games vs. Bowling Green at strong-side linebacker. He collected 18 tackles (8 solos), as he assisted on a sack, caused a fumble, picked off a pass and deflected two others. He also blocked a punt that he recovered for a 9-yard return.

Grant took over strong-side outside linebacker duties as a senior. He ranked fifth on the team with 51 tackles (35 solos), as he tied for second on the squad with five sacks and finished third with 9.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He broke up a pass, picked off another and blocked two kicks, returning one 8 yards.

"I'm pretty versatile," said Grant of having experience across the board at linebacker. :I know I can play any linebacker position in San Francisco's defense. I really don't have a preference. I can play the inside or the outside. It doesn't matter to me. I have a chance and I'm going to make the most of it."

For now, head coach Mike Nolan has penciled in Grant for the TED position, pitting him against veterans Jeff Ulbrich and Dontarrious Thomas.

In 25 games at Ohio State, Grant started 14 contests. He recorded 69 career-tackles (43 solos) with 5.5 sacks for minus-34 yards and 10 stops for losses of 45 yards. He caused a fumble, deflected three passes and intercepted two others for 68 yards in returns. He also blocked three kicks, returning two errant punts for a total of 17 yards.  

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