A ground and air attack: Senior Grant Glazier keeps Park football's offense humming
With the graduation of record-setting quarterback Brandon Alt, many Park football fans might have wondered who could step in to continue the high-powered Wolfpack offense this season.
They needn't have worried. The Park offense has been in very good hands with senior quarterback Grant Glazier.
Son of head coach Darin Glazier, Grant Glazier has kept the Park offense humming this season. Through eight games this season, he has completed 89 of 143 passes for 1,325 yards, a completion percentage of 62 percent. He has thrown 14 touchdown passes against just six interceptions.
He's also run 52 times for 221 yards and six touchdowns, both totals second best on the team.
Under Glazier's direction, the Park offense has also been remarkably balanced this season. Like Alt before him, Glazier has proven a potent weapon with both his arms and his feet. The Wolfpack have averaged 330 yards a contest, 178 yards passing and 152 yards passing.
Park has scored 31.5 points a game in going 6-2 so far this fall. The toughest tests, obviously, are still in front of the Wolfpack, starting with a section semifinal game Saturday.
Coaches and athletes say the game slows down mentally once you have a vision of where the action is going to be and what you have to do next. Glazier thinks that's one of his best skills.
"Probably being able to see what's going to happen before it does, before the defense switches," he said when asked what he sees as his best attributes as a quarterback. "That's what's been helping me from hockey to lacrosse to football — it all puts the same mental play in your head, where you can see where people are going to be and how far and how much of a window you have to make your play. And then I would say probably mobility after that."
Glazier has been remarkably consistent this season, with the exception of the two games which Park lost, to seventh-ranked Mahtomedi and to fifth-ranked Apple Valley.
Glazier's worst game this season was against Apple Valley where he completed just 8 of 18 passes for 114 yards and suffered three interceptions. He may get the chance to right that night in the playoffs.
On the other hand, Glazier had a terrific game in a wild 40-39 win against No. 13 South St. Paul, completing 12 of 17 passes for 101 yards and rushing 13 times for 67 yards. He passed for two touchdowns and ran for two, including scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime.
That game provided the season's highlight for Glazier, which, ironically, was on defense. Glazier and teammate Joe Timp combined to knock away a two-point conversion pass by South St. Paul to preserve the Wolfpack's win.
"Ten years from now I'll remember my hand touching that ball, along with Joe," said Glazier. "And I'll remember driving it down their throats the past three drives with our run-based offense."
Coach-player relationships are sometimes tricky, and even more so when it's a father coaching his own son.
Both Glaziers say it hasn't been an issue.
"Typically I let coach (Tim) Walton, the offensive coordinator, do most of the coaching of him, so I'm pretty hands off as far as that goes," said coach Glazier. "But I've seen a lot of growth in him, in his maturity as a player, as the years have gone on here. And we've had our bumps in the road along the way. But for the most part I try to leave him alone and let him be coached by the other coaches."
Grant's biggest strength as a quarterback is his athletic abilities, elusiveness and foot speed, as well as football IQ, said coach Glazier.
"Our offense takes a lot of reads, pre-snap and post-snap reads," said coach Glazier, and he's very good at identifying those and knowing what he's looking for."
To say Glazier has had a tough act to follow is an understatement.
Alt led the state of Minnesota in passing yards, yards per game and was fourth in touchdown passes as a senior last fall. After finishing his career as Park's all-time career leader in passing yards and touchdowns, Alt took his skills to Bemidji State University where he is redshirting this season. He was on hand at Park's homecoming to cheer on the Wolfpack and especially his good friend Glazier.
"It's hard to compare it to last year because Brandon was a terrific quarterback who could see everything before it happened and get rid of the ball in less than half a second and put the ball right on the money every time," said Glazier. "Brandon's a great kid to follow up after."
Football is just one of the sports Glazier is known for. In fact he may be a better lacrosse player than anything else. He picked up third-team all-state honors as a junior while helping Park to a 10-3 record and a share of the SEC title.
After graduation Glazier has committed to attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., where he'll play lacrosse.
"That's where I see success in the future, just because, football, I never thought of myself having the size to play," said the 5-10, 160-pound Glazier. "That's kind of what I've based it on, but coach Walton has kind of been telling me that I could play in college, so that's going to be a possibility."
In the meantime, Glazier has plans to help win at least a few more football games for Park.