Jan 312005
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Maybe it's just in the blood.

A father who played football at Air Force, a sister who played softball in college, it could be said that Grant Stucker is just following his genes.

The Ponderosa High (Parker) quarterback, who will be at CSU next year, is the next in line of an athletic family. His father, Pat, played football at Air Force "a long time ago," and his sister, Kristen, played softball at a community college before transferring to CSU.

Stucker is the only quarterback in this season's recruiting class, and is expected to compete for the starting job after senior-to-be Justin Holland concludes his playing career next season.

Rivals.com currently lists Stucker as a two-star, duel-threat prospect. Sound familiar? Sophomore-to-be quarterback Caleb Hanie stepped in this season after Holland broke his leg mid-season. Hanie was also a two-star duel-threat quarterback, according to Rivals.

A HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPION

The Stucker family, according to Pat, has always been a busy one.

In high school, Grant played two other sports, basketball and baseball, along with football. Grant started playing football when he was 6 years old, along with other activities. But football was the path Grant wanted to follow.

"We've always encouraged our kids to participate in extracurricular activities," Pat said. "He followed the sport he likes."

Ponderosa coach Jamie Woodruff said that Grant was a key part in leading PHS to the 2004 5A state championship. It's Stucker's determination and work ethic that separate him from the crowd.

"He knows what it takes," Woodruff said. "He's a great QB."

Stucker remembers the playoff run well, and says it was an incredible experience to guide his team to the championship.

"We had to play the conference champions, round after round," Grant said. "It was an unbelievable year."

THE DECISION

For many prospects, from the blue-chippers to the junior-college transfers, the recruiting process is a unique experience. For Grant, it was no different.

"The first couple of months were exciting, meeting all these coaches across the nation," Grant said. "But then it got annoying."

Grant had attended a series of college-prep camps across the nation, and that's how CSU discovered him. However, they weren't the only ones who were interested.

The younger Stucker committed to CSU during the second camp of the summer in July, at the time becoming the second player to commit to the Rams. Had CSU offered Grant a scholarship later, things could have been different.

"CU wanted him pretty badly. He might have gone to CU," Woodruff said. "He's a well kept secret from other schools. (CSU) knows what they got from this kid."

But, in the end, it was Sonny Lubick, head football coach, and his staff, including CSU quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Dan Hammerschmidt, that helped Grant realize where he wanted to play.

"The number one reason was because of the coaching staff," Grant said. "Sonny Lubick and the whole staff are really wonderful people."

Grant's father agreed.

"He turned down CU in large part because of Sonny Lubick, (running backs coach) Mick Delaney and Dan Hammerschmidt," Pat said. "Sonny Lubick is an amazingly thoughtful person. They're all terrific people."

Hammerschmidt also made a distinct impression on Grant and his father.

"Both Grant and I were impressed," Pat said. "We've talked with some of the best QB coaches in the nation. Hammerschmidt is right there with them."

"It's very exciting," Pat said. "I can only wish that every parent gets the opportunity (to see their son play)."

Along with the coaches, the time he spent in Fort Collins with his sister, also helped his decision.

"I think Fort Collins is one of the best places to be for college," Grant said. "I just felt more comfortable with Sonny Lubick and in Fort Collins."

THE PLAYER

Although the stats don't show a superstar in the making, Woodruff said that because Ponderosa runs the Wing-T offense (focusing on running the football rather than an air attack) Grant Stucker's true potential as a throwing quarterback hasn't yet been realized.

Grant says he worked on becoming a better thrower by attending camps across the nation, including at Stanford and Texas, as well as CU and CSU camps.

"I'm trying to develop my complete game," Grant said. "I'm probably known now as a duel-threat quarterback."

Grant Stucker said he even asked to run more passing plays as he became a more complete quarterback.

"He's got some speed and agility," Woodruff said. "He's born to be a quarterback, with his presence on the field."

On top of his athletic skill, Grant is also a dedicated student. He carries a 3.5 grade-point-average at PHS, and, according to his father, is a good student.

"He's a natural at his schoolwork, although sometimes it comes a bit too easy to him," Pat said with a chuckle. "Grant is one of those people who is very conscientious and thoughtful about what he does."

Woodruff said Grant's poise and mentality was one of the most positive aspects of him, not only as a football player, but as a person.

"He's a great kid; he's fun to be around," Woodruff said. "He's committed to what he does."

That commitment will bring Grant to Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium next season where for the next couple of years, fans and opponents of CSU may know get an idea how good the Stucker genes really are.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.