Arkansas Tech University quarterback Jack Grissom could have transferred. He could have walked away from football altogether. Instead, he stayed the course at ATU.
Last Saturday, his patience and perseverance were rewarded.
Grissom completed 15-of-22 passes for 184 yards to help the Wonder Boys defeat Southern Nazarene University 48-35. It was Grissom’s first start at Arkansas Tech. He has been on the Wonder Boys’ roster since 2019, putting in the work necessary to earn his opportunity while eight other individuals played the quarterback position for ATU over the course of the last two-plus seasons.
“A lot of kids would have quit or transferred or whatever the new norm is,” said Kyle Shipp, ATU head football coach. “To see him put his time in, work his butt off and experience success…his teammates were so excited for him, and I was so excited for him. Jack is a wonderful young man who has a bachelor’s degree and will have a master’s degree very soon. It just shows you that hard work and persistence will pay off. You have to believe in the process.”
Grissom was aided by an ATU running game that amassed 282 yards. It was the Wonder Boys’ highest single-game rushing total since Nov. 4, 2017.
“I was very happy to see our offensive line play with the physicality they displayed,” said Shipp. “They’ve done a good job all year of being pretty physical, but they accepted the challenge last week. Deon (Simmons), (Devontae) Dean and Corbin (Humphrey) all ran the ball well. It was a full team effort.”
Next up for the Wonder Boys (2-3) is a Great American Conference contest at Oklahoma Baptist University (1-4). The Bison’s four losses have come against teams that are a combined 15-5 this season, including two of the top 11 teams in the nation: Ouachita Baptist University (No. 5) and Harding University (No. 11).
“I think (Oklahoma Baptist) is better than what their record indicates,” said Shipp. “They have a receiver (Keilahn Harris) who is one of the best in the conference. He can almost beat you by himself. They have the talent to win games. They just have to put it all together.”
Kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Crain Family Stadium in Shawnee, Okla., is planned for 6 p.m. Live coverage of the ATU-Oklahoma Baptist game on KCJC 102.3 FM, the KCJC Radio app and www.arkansastechsports.com will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Talk to you on the radio.
Tech Tidbits is a column written by Sam Strasner, ATU director of university relations and radio play-by-play voice for ATU football and basketball.