Michigan football DT Kenneth Grant ‘hasn’t even scratched the surface yet’

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In Week 1, while Michigan football didn’t register any sacks, you could often see whoever East Carolina put in at quarterback quickly finding ways to get rid of the ball. One big reason was a big body coming at them in Kenneth Grant. Grant’s pressure led to the errant throw right into the hands of Wolverines nickel back Mike Sainristil. In Week 2, Grant’s pressure was even more emphatic, and he managed 1.5 sacks against UNLV.

As players make a big jump from year one to year two, perhaps none are more obvious in their ascension than the Merrillville, Indiana native. Once a four-star and once the heaviest player on the team, Grant shed 20 pounds this offseason and is embodying Jim Harbaugh’s ‘gift from the football gods’ and ‘athletic freak’ monikers that have been bestowed upon him.

But what’s allowed him to go from being a role player who got in late in most games to a rotational tackle who is arguably the best player on the field when he’s out there? His position coach, Mike Elston, shared some of his attributes and notes we haven’t even begun to see what Grant is capable of.

“Yeah, he’s a big guy, right? Powerful guy, athletic for that size, he’s got an incredible motor, you don’t see a 335-plus guy move and able to play the amount of snaps that he can without getting tired so that’s a huge benefit for him,” Elston said. “He’s very intelligent. He wants to be great. He’s driven. I think that he really hasn’t even scratched the surface yet, which is a little bit scary. But he’s going to be a dominant player.”

Of course, it’s tantalizing to imagine Grant making big plays in big games if you’re a Michigan fan, and even more so if you consider that he could be even more destructive of a force down the road. But if Elston thinks Grant hasn’t even scratched the surface while looking unblockable through two weeks, what does he have to work on?

Elston has a few keys in mind, and while he’s pleased with Grant’s progress, there are a few areas he could improve upon which could make him truly dominant across the sport.

“Well, obviously, he’s playing really, really well right now,” Elston said. “I think his ability to just continue to get the snaps and the fine details of playing that position and coming off the ball, coming off the ball a little more consistently and attacking.

“But he’s so big, and he’s so strong and his arms are so long that he just he’s able to get off blocks relatively quickly which leads to the high level of production that he has. So I’d like to see a more consistent get-off and things like that, which will be better for pass rush and better for knocking people back. And he knows that I mean, he knows that that’s something that needs to work on. But once that becomes consistent timing, he’s going to be a wrecking ball out there.”

Fans will get another opportunity to see Grant in action on Saturday night, when Michigan football hosts Bowling Green at The Big House. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire