Gant Kiolbassa commits to UTSA
Gant Kiolbassa of East Central High School signs his letter of intent Feb. 2 to attend school and play football for the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kiolbassa is joined by his parents, Melissa and Quinten, as well as (back, left) Head Coach Robert Walker and Coach Greg Robinson.
Much of the success the East Central Hornet football team experienced in 2010 was due to the tenacious play of its defense. And one of the driving forces of that defense was Gant Kiolbassa, a standout defensive end for East Central. Kiolbassa struck fear into the minds of his opponents this past season, and he hopes to do the same in the coming years as he competes as a member of the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners football team.
Kiolbassa, a 6-foot-2-inch, 265-pound terror of a lineman, signed with the Roadrunners Feb. 2, and is looking forward to playing college football next season.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” he said. “Getting to play D-1 ball, and for Coach Coker, I’m just really excited.”
Kiolbassa said he entertained offers from other schools, and was leaning toward Abilene Christian University, but when the offer to play for Coach Larry Coker at UTSA presented itself, it was an easy decision to make.
Kiolbassa is not only excited about playing football for the Roadrunners, but also about earning a degree in kinesiology. He plans to use his degree to become a coach himself one day, and said he can see himself teaching history -- his favorite subject.
As he prepares for graduation, and then the move from high school to college, Kiolbassa said he knows he will miss his friends and family. He also knows he’s going to miss playing football at East Central, and was sure to give praise to all of his teammates.
Playing Division 1-A football is going to be a challenge, to say the least, but Kiolbassa is up to the chore. When asked what he believes will be the most difficult aspect of playing college ball, he was quick to mention the size of the offensive linemen he will face.
“In high school, I didn’t generally have to worry about really big guys,” he said, “but in college, everyone is big.
“That is going to be something I will have to deal with,” he said. “Just getting used to the size of everyone in the game.”
For Kiolbassa, his journey to Division 1-A college football began at the age of 6. He actually spent most of his childhood on the offensive side of the ball, but moved over to defense his freshman year at East Central. It was as a defensive end where he has truly excelled.
Through all of his accomplishments, the achievement for which he is most proud is in helping the Hornets capture the district title during the 2010 season, a year in which he was named as the district’s defensive MVP.
“He has always had a real passion for football,” said Kiolbassa’s father, Quinten. “I always knew he was going to be great. He was the only guy I ever saw who liked to drag a tire around.”
“I’m excited,” said Kiolbassa’s mother, Melissa. “I’m very proud of him, and I know he will go far.”