Trip home to play Houston Texans is anything but 'irrelevant' for Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Grant Stuard

Adam Winkler Image
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Trip home to play Texans is anything but 'irrelevant' for Grant Stuard
The former University of Houston football captain said despite many struggles throughout his young life, one thing he never did was quit.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- While playing football for the University of Houston, where he served as a captain, Grant Stuard lived across the street from NRG Stadium.

This Saturday, as a rookie linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he'll be back in Houston to play his hometown Texans. But he's come a long way to get there.

After what he had to overcome, Stuard is one of the last people you may expect to succeed in his sport, and not only because he was the last pick in the NFL Draft.

"So many kids in life make excuses based on their circumstances, but he didn't," explained Dereck Rush, Stuard's former coach at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe.

Grant's mother battled a drug addiction and used to work in the sex industry. His father was in prison for a large portion of his youth.

The Houston Texans will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. live on ABC13. ABC13 Sports will be hosting a live evening special before the game at 6:30 p.m.

"Every time adversity would come, the biggest difference between me and someone else who didn't make it was I didn't quit. I didn't stop," Stuard noted during an interview via Zoom Wednesday. "There were so many resources available outside of my home, outside of my circumstances that I utilized."

None bigger than Get Wrapped Church in Spring, where Grant was a worship singer.

"When you see Grant Stuard making it through odds that most wouldn't, you know somehow he is tapping into something that is special," said Juan Martinez, the church's lead pastor. "For us, we know it's Jesus. For the people who don't know Jesus, it brings an interest. Man, how does thig guy overcome hurdle after hurdle?"

While preparing for the NFL Draft, Stuard raised money for Heels to Halos, a Christian organization that helps women recover from sex trafficking.

Faith and family are what helped Grant overcome his less-than-ideal upbringing.

Many of those key figures, including Pastor Juan, will be watching him at NRG Stadium Saturday night against the Texans.

"A whole lot of people have done so much for me growing up," Stuard pointed out. "Even through college, even right now. Just to be able to share that experience with them, and know I'm on that field making them excited. It means a lot to me."

Each year, the last pick in the NFL Draft is dubbed "Mr. Irrelevant". Making it here from where he came, a lot of words can be used to describe Grant Stuard, but "irrelevant" might be the last choice.