NCF On The Trail: J.T. Granato

In college football recruiting, as long as it’s within the rules, it’s never a bad idea to go above and beyond to show how much you want a player. Coaches get to know an athlete’s parents, and that can ultimately mean a coach knowing every little detail about a recruit.

The Rice Owls took it one step further this week. Rice showed love to a recruit’s cat. And apparently, it worked.

Rice picked up a commit in three-star quarterback J.T. Granato from The Kinkaid School in Houston. According to Houston TV station KRIV, Rice scored the commitment after mailing -- get this -- a handwritten note to Granato’s cat, White Sox.

This was posted on the Twitter account of Granato’s father, John:

The note in the letter -- which was addressed to “Kitty Granato,” read, “Please help us to get J.T. to choose Rice.” It then added, “Paw me in case you have any questions.”

Granato had offers from Rice and Houston and interest from multiple schools from coast to coast, including Texas A&M, Maryland, Houston, TCU and Yale. He thought Rice’s gesture was extremely creative, but he also recognized that the program really wanted him. Really, really wanted him.

“I mean it was really funny honestly,” Granato said. “It was just so crazy how hard they recruited me.”

When asked about the cat’s thoughts, Granato said: “She didn’t care. She doesn’t care about anything.”

How often can someone admit a cat helped to get him a scholarship? So much for dogs being man’s best friend in the Granato home.

All jokes aside, Rice is getting a quarterback who put up solid numbers en route to winning Texas’ Southwest Preparatory Conference state championship last season. Granato threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 42 touchdowns.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Elite 11 regional camp on Sunday was certainly one of the most well-attended camps of the season. And while the usual suspects of high-profile quarterbacks in the 2015 and 2016 classes were on hand, there were also many other fine prospects in attendance who are starting to garner more significant attention as college coaches get out on the road this spring.

If you are a follower of the recruiting world, names like Kyler Murray (uncommitted) and Jarrett Stidham (Texas Tech) are now commonplace, but this camp showcased many intriguing prospects who have been slipping under the radar to some degree and should see their stock rise as we head into the fall of their senior years.

Tales From the Road: Texas A&M 

June, 5, 2013
Every Wednesday, Sam Khan Jr. will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing Texas A&M recruiting for the week.

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Tales from the Road: Texas A&M 

May, 22, 2013
Every Wednesday, Sam Khan Jr. will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing Texas A&M recruiting for the week.

This week’s targets: The Aggies are looking at a mix of guys across different classes and positions currently. 2014 placekicker Aaron Medley (Lewisburg, Tenn./Marshall County) said he got a visit from Texas A&M special teams coordinator Jeff Banks on Friday. When Medley called Banks on Monday to follow up, Banks told him he had an offer. Banks and offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney journeyed to Katy (Texas) High School on Tuesday for the Tigers' spring game to see 2015 running back Rodney Anderson, whom the Aggies have offered, as well as several other Katy prospects. McKinney checked on Crosby (Texas) High School receiver and Utah commit Raelon Singleton on Monday. Another receiver the Aggies are keeping an eye on and checked out last week is South Houston (Texas) High School 2014 receiver Elton Dyer. 2015 receiver Kemah Siverand (Houston/Cypress Ridge) said the Aggies stopped by his school on Tuesday and defensive backs coach Marcel Yates recently spoke with 2014 receiver Darius Hammond (Livonia, La./Livonia) on the phone after seeing his spring game last week.

Area of interest: Texas A&M is hammering the Houston area hard right now as the spring evaluation period hits the homestretch. It is a priority area for the Aggies and head coach Kevin Sumlin has acknowledged as much numerous times during his tenure in Aggieland. With more than 150 high schools within a 70-mile radius of downtown Houston, it's a hotbed for talent that's only about 90 minutes from College Station, Texas, depending on which part of town you're in. The Aggies' highest-ranked recruit in 2014 class (ESPN 150 linebacker Hoza Scott) and in 2013 (ESPN 150 receiver Ricky Seals-Jones) are both from the area surrounding Houston. Nine players in the 2013 signing class were Houston-area products.

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HOUSTON -- Nearly 200 athletes came out to The Kinkaid School on a sunny, yet windy and cool Sunday afternoon for the Next Level Athlete South Houston Video Showcase at Barnhart Stadium. There were definitely some sleepers, as well as a few that look to have the potential to be big-time prospects in the future.

RecruitingNation writer Sam Khan Jr. attended the camp, and here is what he learned:

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