Firestone High School senior running back Cody Grice gave an oral commitment to play football on scholarship at the University of Akron.
Grice, 6-foot and 240 pounds, said he plans to major in sports medicine at UA.
“I basically noticed that there are not many Akron kids on the Akron roster, and I want to help change that,” Grice said. “I want to contribute to Akron.”
Grice has rushed for 1,194 rushing yards on 153 carries and scored 14 touchdowns for Firestone this season. Firestone (6-3, 5-0) and Buchtel (6-3, 5-0) play Friday night at 7 p.m. in the City Series Championship game on UA’s campus at InfoCision Stadium.
“I think he liked the new staff and that they offered him last spring,” Firestone coach Tim Flossie said. “They showed their interest right away. It is an opportunity to play right away and kids are looking for. I also think the way Akron has fixed up the campus impressed Cody. They really have good academic programs, sports teams and facilities.”
The Zips are currently 0-8 this season under first-year coach Rob Ianello, but Grice is confident the team will improve soon.
“My pops and I are not really worried about them not doing too good this year because we already know it is going to take a couple of years before Ianello’s recruiting classes come in and make an impact,” Grice said. “I think I can come in and contribute to their success.”
Flossie said Grice and senior offensive lineman Tommy Brown, an Ohio State recruit, are two main reasons the Falcons are playing the Griffins for a City Series title.
“The big thing with Cody is his leadership,” Flossie said. “He and Tommy Brown have both been good leaders and captains.”
Grice said he plans to graduate from Firestone in January and then attend UA.
“They recruited me as a full back, but I have a chance to be the starting tailback,” Grice said. “I visited Akron and I have been to three games this year.
“I have been to some Big East schools and Akron’s facilities are better than there’s. I have been living in Akron all my life. I have seen the school evolve from just being mediocre to a high class school.”