Prep football: Kearns' Grossaint rarely steps off the field
Colton Grossaint announced to his parents at age 8 that he was going to play college football one day.
Grossaint's father, Devon, shook his head and nodded. The former Bingham wrestler knew there would come a moment when his oldest son would either put forth the effort to reach that goal or shrink away from the necessary sacrifices.
The moment came after a practice with his peewee team when Grossaint, now a junior linebacker for Kearns, admits he was being lazy.
"We came home and he ran the hell out of me," Grossaint said. "That was the turning point, and my dad has made the kid that goes out and does the extra work and has had a large part in making me the person that I am."
Grossaint played baseball and football and wrestled for Cyprus as a youngster. He faced a difficult decision after his eighth-grade year.
"Cyprus was dropping some of their AP classes, and Colton knew he needed those classes to get into a good college," his mother, Melanie, said.
He was faced with sacrificing playing sports with his friends or the ability to take the classes he felt he needed.
Grossaint chose education, so he started his ninth-grade year at Kearns.
"It was hard, and it still kind of sucks because they are my brothers," Grossaint said. "They understand, though, and we're still like family."
Grossaint, an accomplished athlete in the Cyprus youth programs, didn't know any of his teammates when he showed up for fall football camp before his ninth-grade year.
"We had no idea who this kid was, but it didn't take us long to notice his work ethic and see his ability," Kearns football coach Bill Cosper said.
The Kearns players were less convinced, and it took a season of going hard on every play to earn their respect.
"A big part of it was going as hard as you can but being humble about it," Grossaint said. "You can't have an attitude until you know these guys."
Grossaint starts at middle linebacker and tight end, so he rarely steps off the field. He leads the team in tackles, receptions and receiving yards and touchdowns.
"A lot of my success comes from the offensive and defensive lines," he said. "Our defense works like an offense, and nothing gets done without those guys blowing things up out front."
His goal becomes more likely with each recruiting letter that arrives. His position at the next level remains to be seen.
"I love the hitting part of playing linebacker, but I really like being part of the offense and making plays," he said.
As Grossaint pursues his dream of earning a degree in the medical field, he's making a deep impact on those around him.
"I have daughters, and Colton is the kind of kid that you want your daughter to marry," Cosper said. "He's just a great kid and no one is going to outwork him."
Kearns junior linebacker/tight end Colton Grossaint attended a football camp at the University of Utah when he was 9 years old. The coaches told the participants that drinking soda was bad, and Grossaint has not had a soda since that day.
Grossaint, an accomplished wrestler, finished third in the Class 5A 195-pound weight class in 2011.