“I wear number zero, because I feel like no one on the field is better than me.”
That’s Ohio eighth grader Mi’Quan Grace’s mindset. Grace is certainly not devoid of confidence, and he’s got the game to back it up. He is one of the most promising Class of 2020 prospects in the state of Ohio and the entire country.
The 13 year old tallied 98 tackles and 6 interceptions in his 7th grade season, and has already received interest from some major programs, including Ohio State, Louisville, Ohio University, Toledo, and others. At the Sound Mind Sound Body Camp in Detroit, MI, Grace was recognized as the MVP runner-up among 1200 middle schoolers and 2300 high schoolers, in the presence of coaches such as Nick Saban, Les Miles, James Franklin, and others. He also received MVP recognition from the Anthony Muñoz Camp and AJ Green Camps.
Grace’s instincts and speed are so impressive that he has already received an official offer from the University of Cincinnati. To go with his first offer, he also has received numerous MVP honors from various football camps. Grace says what differentiates him from other corners is his football IQ and his technique. He is very instinctual and has a good understanding of what receivers do and when they are going to make their breaks.
As a Bengals fan, he tries to model his game around Cincinnati’s star cornerback, Adam “Pacman” Jones. Grace says he admires Jones’s intensity and aggressiveness of Arizona Cardinals’ corner Patrick Peterson and New York Jets’ corner Darrelle Revis.
Not only does Grace share an uncanny football IQ and great instincts with these NFL Pro Bowlers, but he also shares their natural speed. At just 13 years of age, standing 5’7” and weighing 150 lbs, Grace runs his 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds, equaling that of Carolina Panthers’ 2015 second-round selection, Devin Funchess of Michigan. It’s no surprise that Grace also puts that speed into effect on the Track and Field team, excelling in the 100m and 200m sprints. It’s safe to say that with 5 full years until graduation, Grace will only get faster as he continues to grow into his body.
As he heads into his eighth grade season at Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, Grace’s expectations have increased. He wants to rack up at least 100 tackles and make 10 interceptions; not unreasonable expectations when considering what he did last season.
Mi'Quan, who also plays for the Ohio Valley Elite club team, has lofty expectations for the future as well. He aspires to start as freshman on Winton Woods’ varsity team and win the State Championship.
Once high school is over, he hopes to attend one of his dream schools, Ohio State or Oregon. And the aspirations don’t stop there. He put it quite simply, “I want to graduate college and play in the NFL.”
While many kids say they want to play in the NFL, not many actually put in the time and effort. Grace values work ethic over everything and with a great team of coaches around him, including former Ohio State corner and first round NFL draft pick, Vinnie Clark. The work ethic is not only seen on the field, but also in the classroom. Grace has earned a 3.7 GPA throughout middle school and also acts as a leader to his four younger brothers, a quality that his dad, Michael Grace, says is Mi’Quan’s best one.
“I just feel like he’s a great big brother. His leadership outside of football also helps him with stuff on the field,”said Mi’Quan’s father.
He is a natural born leader, but Michael Grace says Mi’quan is more of a leader than he could ever imagine. His father’s main goals for his son are to graduate and be the best big brother he can be. His three younger brothers that have already started playing football all wear their big brother Mi’Quan’s number 0.
Mi’Quan Grace has confidence and game, and he very well may be the best player on the field when he is on it. Keep this name on your radar over the next several years, and don’t be surprised if you see him dawning your team’s colors one day.
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