PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - From Bay High to college ball, and soon to be competing for national titles, the future is bright for Kingston Grady.
The 6'4", 310 pound offensive lineman signed a scholarship Friday with West Florida, the reigning NCAA Division II national champion.
Grady follows in the footsteps of another Bay lineman, Daryl Wilson, a BHS alumnus and senior on the Argos team that beat Minnesota State to earn the title in December.
Grady also joins forces with a lot of Floridians. UWF claimed 103 on the 2019 roster, more than any team at any level of college football.
"It's really exciting. It has always been a dream of mine to play college football, so I'm just glad I got the opportunity to," Grady said. "They reached out to me one time before the season. After the season, I got back in contact with them and I got invited up for a visit and it just went up from there. I really feel like my experience at Bay as prepared me for life and playing football at the next level. I'm really blessed to be in this position right now."
Putting pen to paper achieves on dream. When the 2020 season rolls around, it'll be time to work towards another dream: winning a ring.
"That would mean a lot to me to win a championship and be a dominant program," Grady added. "Things around here haven't been so hot lately. After the hurricane, we had a lot of kids move away and we've had a rough two years, but it's really, really refreshing to be able to move up and honestly an honor to go to a program like West Florida."
Kingston is the son of Bay athletic director Mike Grady, staying close enough to home for the family to attend games at Pen Air Field.
Signing Grady fulfills a key part of UWF head coach Pete Shinnick's recruiting mission. Now heading into the program's fifth season of existence, Shinnick says making the region a stronghold is vital to sustaining a wining culture.
"We said we're going to start with the 850 and go beyond that," Shinnick told NewsChannel 7 this winter. "When you start traveling out Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, wherever you're going to go, we just felt like we could build a very competitive football team with instate talent."
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