PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s safe to say Jaydon Grant had no idea when he decided to go out for West Linn’s football team in the middle of his senior year that it would lead him to become one of the best defensive backs in all of the Pac-12.

“Man, it’s been a crazy journey,” Grant reflected. “Filled with a lot of ups and downs. It took a while to get here.”

It’s not hyperbole either that Jaydon is one of the best DBs in the conference, as both the coaches and the media named him to the Pac-12’s second team this week.

“I think it’s cool,” Grant said of the honor. “I think it’s a testament to the work that we all put in collectively as a DB group. More times than not, it doesn’t really turn out how you want it to, with the representation of our whole entire unit, because I feel like we put it on tape all season.”

Believe it or not, this is Jaydon’s seventh season in Corvallis, which was made possible through the extra COVID year all NCAA athletes during the pandemic were granted.

He certainly took full advantage of it.

“The biggest thing that I’m most thankful for is just another year with my teammates,” said Grant. “I tell them that all the time. Just going into this whole entire offseason and changing my mindset. Having a grateful mindset. Not, ‘I have to do this, but I get to do this is one more time.’”

Next week, he’ll get to suit up in an OSU uniform one last time.

Grant’s first five seasons as a Beaver all finished in losing records, so he has all the perspective in the world going into this final contest.

“To potentially win ten games with this bowl game, it’s just a blessing, and it’s a testament to the hard work that our staff, our strength staff, medical staff, players, have all put in for the last three or four years. To now finally be able to be rewarded in the win and loss column, it’s a blessing, and we just trust the process. I’m excited to see what this program does moving forward from this,” said Grant.

As for what’s next, the former walk-on already proved a lot of people wrong getting to this point, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I expect to play in the NFL, and that’s obviously a huge goal of mine,” said Grant. “I hope to do what I did here which is kind of have the underdog story and surprise some people. I hope to do that at the highest level, so I’m excited for that.”