(Photo Courtesy of Hasani Harper/H2Athletes)

For Brendan Gant, football is a family affair

The No. 2 ranked safety in the class of 2019 has a father, uncle, and cousin, who have all excelled on the football field.

Gant’s father, Eric, was a running back at Kathleen High School, where Brendan attends school now, and went on to play college football at Grambling State.

Gant’s uncle, Kenneth, played defensive back at Kathleen High School before being selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the ninth round of the 1990 NFL draft. Kenneth “The Shark” Gant was a special teams player for the Cowboys from 1990-1994 and won two Super Bowls with Dallas before moving on to play for the Buccaneers.

Gant’s cousin, Kendall, is a safety now in his senior season at Marshall University.

Gant, a Lakeland, Fl. native, does not hide from the attention his name brings.

“It makes me just work even harder for what I have because some people tend to say my name is the reason why I have what I have, so I just use that as a reason to go even harder.” Gant said.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound junior stars as a defensive back and uses his length and speed to fly all over the field. Gant is strong in coverage and committed to tackling. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is always looking for a way to prove himself.

Whenever he lines up, Gant wants his presence to be felt. He started playing varsity as a freshman, and learned from the upperclassmen the mental toughness, attitude, and confidence that defensive backs need to bring to the field.

“You gotta bring the swag, the trash talking and the physicality to the pretty receivers,” Gant said.

But that doesn’t mean Gant isn’t locked in when he steps on the field.

“He has a very serious demeanor, and he doesn’t take preparation lightly,” Jaaron Jackson, Gant’s teammate and a South Alabama commit, said.

Gant is always trying to learn and improve his game. He is focused on slowing things down in order to see them more clearly.

“I ask my cousin Ken (who plays at safety at Marshall) a lot (about) the type of stuff they do, the type of stuff receivers do, what they look for (in) receivers in the collegiate level,” Gant said. “So, I can throw that in my game and work from that.”

Gant doesn’t only make an impact on defense. He played quarterback in his younger days, but had not played in high school until this year. With depth problems behind the center this year for Kathleen High School, however, the squad needed a quarterback. With football in his blood, and per his coach’s request, Gant is now the team’s starting quarterback. Gant’s athleticism and dedication to the game made him a natural fit.

“He has a high football IQ, that’s the first thing, he understands the game of football well,” Jackson said.

Kathleen High School scuffled out of the gate, but because of a break due to Hurricane Irma, the squad is now playing much better football and won their first district contest. As for the rest of the season, Gant wants nothing more than to help his team dethrone local powerhouse Lakeland High School.

In regards to Gant’s recruiting process, some big names are involved so far. Communicating with schools like Florida, FSU, Miami (FL), Ohio State, and Oregon has really resonated with him.

Gant is keeping his options open in terms of academics and is looking for a school with several different programs to choose from. While Gant doesn’t have a specific major in mind, he knows he wants to be around sports.

Gant is expected to make his college decision next year.

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