Q & A: Richie Grant

UCF football senior Richie Grant is here with to take a look at off-season goals, pride in his position group and who he looks up to. Read what Grant had to say below:

What's your favorite memory from your time at UCF?
I've had so many great memories at UCF. This season we will be creating more new memories with moments I'll cherish forever, but one of my favorite memories since being here was the whole week in Tampa for the Gasparilla Bowl against Marshall. I really enjoyed the time being around the guys, soaking up the festivities and then going out and dominating the game. 
What is some advice you would give to incoming freshmen at UCF?
It might feel a little overwhelming. It definitely was for me, coming from a small city and going to a big city like Orlando. Campus is very busy. You're going to meet a ton of new people and it all can be overwhelming, but I do not regret coming to UCF one bit, because it challenges you to get out of your comfort zone. Know who you are, because you don't want to be influenced by others. That will take care of a lot of problems freshmen have coming in. Always work on your discipline before you get here. Time management is important. Your parents aren't here to cook for you or do your laundry. It's the little things that you forget about. Freshman year can be a really fun year. It doesn't have to be crazy. The UCF atmosphere is fun and I think every freshman will enjoy coming here.
What's your favorite thing about football practice? 
My favorite thing about practice would definitely be the competition. As a defensive back I'm going up against one of the best receiving corps in the nation every single day. I get that luxury. They're different sizes, but they're all fast, all explosive. It's definitely and iron-sharpens-iron situation. We're going at it in every single drill every single day. We don't take days off. As much as we go at it on the field, outside the lines, we're brothers. It's real love. It's a blessing to be able to be professional about it.
What are your main goals for improving this off-season?
A goal that I've had coming into the off-season is to further my development as a leader on the team. We lost some key leaders, but we have some good ones coming up. We have an older bunch, so it shouldn't be too hard to keep the group focused on the task at hand. As an individual I have a few goals I'm trying to achieve in the off-season, but you'll see it when the season comes.
Who has been someone you've always looked up to in football?
My uncle has always been my inspiration. I look up to a lot of greats who have played football, but the one who has been constant has been my uncle. He was the reason I started playing football in the first place. I was six or seven years old. He's 10 years older than me, so he was playing high school football at the time. I was sitting in the stands with my grandma and my cousins, and he broke off a long run and the whole city was just standing up in the crowd yelling his name. That feeling I had – I still get goosebumps to this day – that feeling made me want to do something like that. I want to bring a city together. I want to go out there and make my family proud. He's always had tremendous character. On and off the field, I've been able to grow up looking up to him. He taught me a lot of valuable things that I will pass along to my future children.

What do defensive backs do better than any other position group?
Defensive backs are the most athletic group…by far. We have to go against alignments and splits and route trees of these new offenses that live for manipulating defenses. We're doing all of that but going backwards. Think about that. You have a guy going at you full speed and you're going backwards, and you have to react faster than him to get an interception or break a pass up. You also have to then make tackles. It all speaks for itself.

Richie Grant has started in 25 of the last 26 games at safety for UCF and has totaled 187 tackles in the last two seasons. He is a two-time first-team all-conference selection in The American, grabbing seven interceptions over the last two seasons and breaking up eight passes as a junior in 2019. 

Grant returns to lead a veteran secondary that also includes seniors Antwan Collier, Aaron Robinson, Brandon Moore and Tay Gowan.