Grant died in an automobile accident late Monday night in his hometown of Duncanville, Texas. He was born Nov. 27, 1982.
Reports indicate that a car was turning across traffic onto an Interstate 45 on-ramp when it was rammed broadside by an oncoming car, said Senior Cpl. Donna Hernandez, a Dallas police spokeswoman. The Dallas County medical examiner's office and school officials said Grant died later at a hospital. Hernandez said the other motorist had minor injuries. Hernandez said no alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident.
“This is a terrible loss for everyone associated with Oklahoma State University and the football family,” OSU head coach Mike Gundy said in a release from the OSU Media Relations office. “Vernon Grant was a terrific young man who had an infectious smile and a positive approach to everything he did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and teammates.”
OSU Athletics Director Harry Birdwell said, “OSU has lost one of its finest student ambassadors. Vernon Grant’s smile could light up a room and his enthusiasm made him a great and dependable teammate. The irony of this is that it was Vernon Grant who taught us all the importance of inner strength and faith in time of personal tragedy.”
Go Pokes Executive Editor Robert Allen wrote in a story early Tuesday morning, “This is a tremendously sad story for all of us that knew Vernon Grant because of the vibrant, energetic and caring person that he was. Few people loved life and those around them as much as Vernon. Please remember to say your prayers from Vernon, his family and his Oklahoma State football family, which I can tell you will be devastated by losing Vernon.”
Robert Allen wrote in an article which was scheduled to appear in Go Pokes Magazine in June that Grant was “the voice and the spirit of the defense. Grant is the number one corner on the OSU squad. Fortunately, he still plays bigger than his 5-9 height, and in offseason testing he ran a sub 4.3 in the 40-yard dash. He is good on coverage and is also good at lining up and using his leverage to press coverage.”
Robert continued in the story by writing, “He is outstanding at run support and he is fearless in coming up to make a tackle. If any of that fails he is also capable of talking an opponent to death. New defensive coordinator Vance Bedford loves him, and Grant will need to stay healthy not only for his physical skills but also his emotional leadership.”
Grant had been moved back to cornerback in the spring after spending the past two seasons at strong safety. In his final game wearing the orange and black, Grant made nine unassisted tackles (the most on the team) in Oklahoma State’s loss to Ohio State in the Alamo Bowl last December.
Grant played in 38 games (starting 27 of those) during his three-year career for the Cowboys.
As a junior in 2004, he played in all 12 games, registering 67 total tackles (including a team-high 59 solo stops). He had two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and six pass break-ups for the Cowboys.
In 2003, as a sophomore, he started eight of 13 games in helping the Cowboys to a 9-4 record and a Cotton Bowl berth against Mississippi. He recorded a career-high 89 tackles (second on the team), including two for loss, while also breaking up four passes.
As a freshman in 2002, Grant started the last seven games of the season including OSU’s game against Southern Miss in the Houston Bowl. He completed his freshman season with 62 tackles, one interception and five pass breakups. In the Cowboys’ thrilling 28-23 victory over Texas A&M that season he was outstanding with eight tackles, three passes broken up and an interception, and was OSU’s nominee for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Grant also excelled in the classroom. He was named to the CoSIDA District VI Academic team with a 3.25 grade point average in engineering after his sophomore season.
Grant was a top-100 Texas player coming out of Duncanville High School. He decided to sign with OSU after being recruited by Notre Dame, Iowa State and Wyoming.
Grant was the son of Vernon Grant, Sr., of Duncanville, Texas. His mother, Vanessa, passed away last August.
"A tough run defending safety with solid coverage skills, the TFY Draft Preview graded Grant as a potential middle round choice in next April's NFL Draft".