Zion Grady commits to Alabama

Published 3:53 pm Sunday, November 12, 2023

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Charles Henderson junior edge rusher Zion Grady announced his commitment to play college football at the University of Alabama on Nov. 12.

Grady is rated as a 5-star high school recruit in the Class of 2025 by 247Sports and is also rated as the No. 19 overall prospect in his class, No. 4 prospect in Alabama and No. 1 edge rusher. He has scholarship offers from all over the country but previously narrowed down his top choices to Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Georgia. In the end, Alabama was his choice.

“I went with Alabama because I feel like they can develop me best at the next level,” Grady said. “I think they can develop me to my full potential, on and off the field. When I talked to Coach (Nick) Saban he told me the real. I just felt like that was home for me.”

Charles Henderson’s Zion Grady is a Junior All-American. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

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Grady has been one of the top edge rushers in the state since his freshman campaign. As a sophomore, Grady earned All-State, MaxPreps Sophomore All-American and All-Messenger honors along with being The Messenger’s Defensive Player of the year and the Class 5A Lineman of the Year as he tallied 108 tackles, 37 tackles-for-loss, 22 sacks, three forced fumbles and three blocked field goals.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” Charles Henderson Coach Quinn Hambrite said. “He’s a big boy making big boy decisions. The growth he has shown from his freshman year until now is tremendous. He’s an excellent student and an excellent person. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Grady has continued to dominate as a junior. The 6-foot-5-inch, 220-pound athlete has 70 tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss, 10 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown as he and his fellow Trojans chase a state championship. Announcing his commitment on Nov. 12 came with also honoring his father, Robert Grady Sr., who passed away when Grady was just three years old. Grady’s grandfather presented him with a framed picture of his father following his commitment.

“That meant a lot to me,” Grady said. “Today is my dad’s birthday and he died when I was younger. I wanted to do this to celebrate him.”

Zion Grady (6) hauls down a Huskie runner in the backfield. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

Grady said that he feels like committing so early takes some weight off his shoulders moving forward.

“It just takes a little bit off me and lets me focus on playing,” Grady said. “I just want to finish, stay humble and do the best I can.”

Grady is the first CHHS Trojan to commit to a Power 5 program since Richard McBride signed with Auburn in 2014. Grady said that Alabama plans to play him at jack linebacker when he arrives on campus. While Grady said that his goals at the next level are to get his weight up and get on the field, his coach has extremely high expectations for him.

“My prediction is he’ll be a first round draft pick. It’s high hopes but I think with his skill set and mentality he can do it.”