Conway quarterback Darren Grainger will play college football at Furman University.
Grainger recently made a verbal commitment to the Paladins with plans to sign in February. He is currently playing basketball for the state-ranked Tigers.
“I’m very excited,” Grainger said. “The coaches told me they wanted me. I felt comfortable with them coming to my house and talking on the phone.”
Grainger looks forward to playing quarterback in the Southern Conference.
It’s a program on the rise and I want to be a part of it,” he said.
Grainger helped lead Conway to a region championship and a 10-2 record this past fall.
He completed 120-of-223 passes for 2,125 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
A dual threat, Grainger also ran the football 115 times for 641 yards and four touchdowns.
Interim Conway Coach Carlton Terry believes that Furman will be a good fit for Grainger.
“I think it’s a very good choice for him academically and athletically,” Terry said. “It’s a great school that will challenge him academically. They have a great athletic program as well.”
The teen began his football career 12 years ago by playing flag football at the Carolina Forest Recreation Center. He started playing tackle football at the Conway Recreation Department when he was 9.
Grainger initially played running back and wide receiver before switching to quarterback. He played quarterback for the B-team at Whittemore Park Middle School before switching back to wide receiver as Peyton Derrick’s backup at Conway High School for a couple of seasons.
“It was worth the wait,” he said. “You have to be patient and wait for the guy ahead of you to graduate and wait for your turn to come. When your time comes you have to take advantage and do what you have to do to make it a great opportunity.
“I love playing quarterback,” Grainger said. “It’s the only position I’d want to play. You’re a leader for the team. Everything is in your hands.”
In addition to being a leader at quarterback, Grainger served as one of the Tigers’ permanent captains this past season.
The 6-foot, 4-inch, 185-pound Grainger is an athletic-type quarterback with many positive attributes.
“I think I can throw the deep ball real well,” he said. “I’m also able to create some time for the receivers to get open.”
Grainger is also blessed with above average speed and is more than capable of breaking a play at any given time. Teammate Juwan Moody refers to Grainger as “Legs” because of his height.
Grainger is a son of Danita and Dwayne Grainger, a pair of former Conway athletes themselves. His mom played basketball at CHS and his dad played football in the late 1980s.
The teen is a two-sport star, who also enjoys basketball immensely. He and his roundball teammates are currently undefeated this season.