FOOTBALL: Luke Grant ready to earn his keep at Mars Hill

There were plenty of family and friends on hand at Heritage this past Thursday to watch senior Luke Grant sign a football letter of intent with Mars Hill (N.C.) (Contributed photo)

A record-setting player for the Heritage Generals has found a new home for the next four years.

Senior Luke Grant will be heading to North Carolina this fall to begin his college football career for the Lions of Mars Hill University. Grant made the decision official during a ceremony in the Heritage theater on Thursday.

"It's awesome," Grant said of his signing day. "I love the college, the area, the players, and the coaches. I can't wait to get up there and start working with them."

Grant won a bevy of awards in his final two seasons with the Generals. He was the Region 6-AAAA Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior and Co-Offensive Player of the Year as a senior. He was an All-State first team pick by, a second team pick by the Georgia Sports Writers Association and an Honorable Mention selection by the AJC.

After 1,544 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, he caught 64 passes a senior for the 9-2 Generals, finishing with 1,065 receiving yards and 15 scores, while adding 351 return yards and three picks on defense.

Grant will graduate from Heritage as the program's all-time leader in receptions (197), receiving yards (3,205), receiving touchdowns (32), all-purpose yards (4,936) and interceptions (10).

"He's got some records that won't be broken for a long, long time here," head coach E.K. Slaughter said. "His junior year he scored a touchdown seven different ways over the course of a season. He's just a great all-around player. He's been a good leader for us and he's a good kid that comes from a good family. I'm just proud of him and everything that he's been able to accomplish."

Grant said the Lions were planning on using his as a slot receiver.

"Hopefully I can bring leadership and competitiveness (to their program)," he added. "I plan on fighting for a spot once I get up there and I hope I can make some plays for them."

Mars Hill is an NCAA Division II program that plays in the always-tough South Atlantic Conference, along with teams such as Carson-Newman and Lenoir-Rhyne, which is where his Heritage teammate Ryan Carter signed earlier this month.

"Ryan and I competed against each other more than anyone," Grant said. "He made me a better player and I think I made him a better player. Hopefully it pays off for us both in college."

Grant said he is undecided on a major, but is considering mathematics or engineering.