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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Football

Grant Stuard comfortable with move to linebacker as 2020 season approaches


Senior Grant Stuard (3) stalks the edge of the Memphis Tigers’ offensive line in an AAC battle at TDECU Stadium during the 2019 season. | File photo

Senior Grant Stuard (3) stalks the edge of the Memphis Tigers’ offensive line in an AAC battle at TDECU Stadium during the 2019 season. | File photo

After moving from nickel safety to linebacker this past offseason, senior Grant Stuard talked about what that transition has been throughout UH’s unusually long training camp.

“It’s nothing new to me or anything (it’s just a new title),” Stuard told reporters about the change in position back in February.

On Monday afternoon, the 6-foot-1-inch Conroe native gave a small update on how he’s adjusted to the new spot as well as what he expects production-wise from it.

For starters, Stuard said he does not see much of a difference in the basic responsibilities from what he did last season and is confident in his abilities to find success for the Cougars at that new position.

“I thought it was going to be less coverage than it is,” Stuard said. “I still have to cover a good amount, but the personnel (I’m defending) is different (and it’s) just working a different technique.”

The difference in position comes from who he has to cover. Instead of having to be on the opposing team’s slot receivers like in years past, Stuard’s responsibilities on defense have changed to tight ends and running backs as well being tasked with attacking the line gaps.

Another personal change that Stuard made this offseason was putting on over 20 pounds in muscle weight from a season ago. 

While playing at around 205 pounds in 2019, Stuard is now hovering around 225-230 pounds, he said.

“That was a big change,” the linebacker said.

After making 97 total tackles, 62 of them solo, and a sack in 2019, Stuard will be looking to create more havoc for opposing offenses this season, which he believes he will be in a position to do.

“I can be more aggressive and more dominant in this type of coverage,” he said.

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