Wide receiver Grant DuBose was the Green Bay Packers’ last pick in this year’s NFL Draft– and a compensatory pick at that.
The seventh round selection (256th overall) from Charlotte, though, is used to being underestimated.
A zero-star recruit out of Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Dubose would end up playing for the only college offering him a scholarship– the small, liberal arts-minded Miles College. However, when the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out his sophomore football season, it certainly looked like the end of the line for his football aspirations.
But after taking “real world” jobs to make ends meet– like bagging groceries at Wal-Mart, loading cars at a Hyundai manufacturing plant, and driving for Door Dash– his burning desire for football reaffirmed itself.
“You getting up, and going to work every day,” DuBose told WBTV in Charlotte. “You’re working out for an opportunity, but you just never know if an opportunity is gonna present itself.
“It was either bet on myself, or stay where I was. I knew that’s what I didn’t want.”
In June of 2021, he convinced a friend at Charlotte to get him a tryout for the coaching staff. It only took three routes for them to see his talent and offer him a spot on the team.
“It was a hitch, a dig, and a go,” he said, remembering the tryout.
At Charlotte, DuBose made the most of his opportunity, earning an All-Conference USA honorable mention after leading the team with 62 catches for 892 yards and six touchdowns in his first season. In his senior year, the 6-foot-2 receiver was named second-team All-Conference USA after catching 63 passes for 787 yards and nine touchdowns.
Still, despite his accomplishments and the hard road to get there, being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft was not a sure thing. And, as things turned out, he almost wasn’t selected, being picked no. 256 of 259 draftees.
Some scouts believe that DuBose has the potential to be one of those players who manage to slip under the watchful gaze of scouts and media experts. As a matter of fact, Mike Renner, lead draft analyst for Pro Football Focus, has already declared DuBose his favorite wide receiver draft sleeper.
Whatever the case, the young man with the football dreams will keep pushing forward as long as there’s even the slightest sliver of a possibility of success.
“My journey hasn’t been the typical journey,” DuBose said. “But I’m grateful for it all…I knew what I wanted in life. I knew that I wanted to be here today…The job’s not finished. It’ll just be the start of something great.”
Man, I love stories like this. I had never heard of him before the draft, but I’ll be rooting for him now. Having the honor of being 1 of the 259 players to hear their names called is pretty cool and it sounds like he realizes that this is just the start of his journey. I hope he gets to have a long NFL career in some form or other.