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Making the Grady

August 22, 2002

Mike Sciacca

It was the end of an intense week of two-a-day football practices

held in the equally intense heat in Fresno. Temperatures had crept up

to 103 degrees, yet you could still hear a fresh enthusiasm in Jeff

Grady's voice on this late Friday evening.

Despite having days that began at 7 a.m. each morning and

concluded at close to 11 p.m. each night, Grady was not heading for a

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night out on the town; instead, he was at home -- still ready to talk

football.

The bumps and bruises, aches and pains, not to mention just plain

exhaustion, were put on the backburner. His enthusiasm was unbridled.

"This is really an exciting time in my college career," the former

Edison High football standout said. "I know I should be tired -- and

there are times when I feel it, but I'm just too pumped up about

this."

Jeff Grady is just one day away from getting his first career

start as quarterback of the Cal State Fresno Bulldogs.

He has taken over the starting spot vacated by 2001 Johnny Unitas

Golden Arm Award Winner David Carr, the No. 1 selection in the 2002

NFL Draft by the expansion Houston Texans.

Carr started all 14 games last year and became just the sixth

quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 4,000 yards and 40

touchdowns in a season.

His 4,839 passing yards and 46 touchdown passes last year were

both tops in the nation.

But Carr has moved on, and now Grady inherits the starting spot.

It's been a long time coming for the talented Grady.

"Three-and-a-half years, to be exact," he said, to become the

Bulldogs' offensive leader on the field.

"First of all, I have been behind two pretty darned good

quarterbacks in David Carr and Billy Volek since I've been here at

Fresno," he said. "Second, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot

from these guys."

Grady will get his first starting snap at quarterback on Friday

when he guides unranked Fresno against the 23rd-ranked Wisconsin

Badgers.

The 2002 season opener for both teams, to be played in Madison,

Wis., will be televised live by ESPN.

The host Badgers will be backed by some 80,000 fanatics who are

certain to rock one of college football's most storied and lively

venues, Camp Randall Stadium.

Will all the commotion rattle Grady? Not likely.

After all, he has seen Camp Randall in all its glory -- last fall

he was in Madison with the Bulldogs when they surprised the college

football world and Wisconsin with a 32-20 upset win in the 2001

opener.

"It gets pretty nuts in Wisconsin, but it's a great environment,"

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