The always positive wide receiver Antwane Grant is awaiting his name in next week’s XFL draft. But what would he bring to the XFL?
“I would say I bring a sense of leadership, a sense of camaraderie, I’m not just a ‘rah rah’ type. In a way, I’m a guy who’s going to show you,” Grant said.
Grant has the pedigree to succeed as a receiver, from his college days at the University of Kentucky to training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals to a stint in Canada where he played for just over a year with the CFLs Saskatchewan Roughriders, Grant was present everywhere he played.
In 2016, Grant signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2016. He was pushed under a talented corps of receivers, appeared in three preseasons and looked unassuming catching two passes for 45 yards. This earned Grant a spot on the Bengals practice team.
In 2017, Grant signed with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders and was able to get more playing time despite being among a fairly talented group of receivers including Duron Carter, Nic Demski and Naaman Roosevelt. He appeared in five games in 2017 and caught seven passes for 107 yards, averaging 15.3 yards per catch. Grant was back with the Roughriders in 2018 but was cut after the preseason.
In 2019, Grant found himself with the Atlantic City Blackjacks of the Arena Football League (AFL), where he broke four team records and was named AFL Rookie of the Year. He put up some good numbers, catching 72 passes for 1,012 yards and 17 touchdowns in ten games. Unfortunately for Grant, the AFL closed, ending his tenure with the blackjacks.
“I was with the Bengals in 2016 and made my way to Saskatchewan in 2017 where I spent the 2017 season up there and part of the 2018 season,” Antwane said. “The journey just continues from there, and through networking and coaching I had the opportunity to go to the Atlanta City Blackjacks when they were part of the AFL in 2019 and I was recognized as Rookie of the Year.”
“You know, I’ve been on a little journey since high school and college,” Grant added.
Due to the pandemic, it took until 2021 for the Columbus Lions to sign Grant from the National Arena League (NAL). During the 2021 season, Grant played seven games for Columbus, catching an impressive 58 passes for 688 yards and 17 touchdowns. In 2022, Grant joined the NAL’s Albany Empire and was part of the winning squad as the Empire defeated the Carolina Cobras 47-20 for the championship.
Unfortunately for Grant, the XFL held their showcases in the middle of the Albany Empire season, but that didn’t stop Grant from getting an invite to the upcoming draft.
“I was lucky enough to have enough film, you know, tape,” Antwane explained. It was the perk of being an active player when the XFL was recruiting. They could see you in the actual game day environment.
As the draft nears next week, Grant planned to keep an eye on his phone when the receiver part of the draft comes out. He welcomes the opportunity, but doesn’t want to interrupt his busy life just to look at a computer screen.
Antwane works as a teacher, runs his own brand (GrantedLifestyleAEAG.com) and clothing line, and has a forthcoming book. Not to mention he finds a wealth of opportunities to give back to his community having participated in youth mentoring programs and having coached junior football. These things seem to matter most to Grant, and “giving back to the community” is a strong theme when chatting with Antwane Grant.
If you want to hear the entire interview with Antwane Grant, look here:
Episode 43 “Drafting” with guests Dwayne Wallace and Antwane Grant