DITR: OT/DT Grant Kitchens, Nanih Waiya High School (Louisville, Mississippi)

Grant Kitchens is a monster. The 2026 prospect measures in at 6’8, 295 pounds; NFL players rarely are that big, let alone a sophomore in high school.

Kitchens still needs to develop and continue to refine his technique, but he flashes tons of potential. He’s aware of his size, and uses it to dominate in the run-game. He might not have the technique, yet, to handle two defenders at once, but he’s phenomenal at his one-on-one matchups. Once Kitchens makes contact with whoever he’s lined up against, that player is removed from the play. He knows how to use his size to essentially absorb the defender, clearing lanes for his ball-carrier.

Kitchens also works well through the second level. He has the athleticism to drive his opponent into the second level and disrupt the defenders there, too. His blocking ability in the run-game is pretty great, and while his passing game needs refinement, it also shows promise. Kitchens fires out of his stance with urgency; this should translate well to his pass-protections looks, especially when facing faster defenders. He’s also good at making contact with the defender, but not drawing flags. As well as knowing how to make himself big enough to wall off the defender, but small enough to not block his ball-carrier.

This all should translate well to his pass-protection looks. His quickness out of his stance should give him the edge over faster edge-rushers, his ability to make contact should allow him to win against bull-rushers, his ability to not draw flags should prevent negative offensive plays and his awareness should give his quarterback an adequate pocket. Kitchens also has heavy, quick hands that allow him to mirror the defenders movements and disrupt their moves. On top of overall ability, he also has a good work ethic, which is important for improvement.

His size gives him an instant advantage, as an offensive linemen, with his athleticism allowing him to capitalize off the advantage. He is an intriguing prospect who is phenomenal in the run-game and shows promise in pass-protection. However, Kitchens might be the most disruptive on the defensive side of the ball.

He’s disruptive at the line. The way he’s able to move players out of his way is captivating, it’s like watching someone try to stop a freight train. He has a strong lower body that drives players out of his way.

His size might not be prototypical for a defensive tackle, but Kitchens has shades of Margus Hunt (a 2nd round pick out of SMU). His home is on the offensive side of the ball, but there certainly is plenty of potential for him as a defender, should he decide to make that switch. There are plenty of teams who need big linemen up front; he’d have to improve his pass-rushing ability, but Kitchens floor, as a defensive linemen, is an outstanding run-stopper.

Kitchens is a member of the 2026 class. He can play on either side of the ball, but he primarily lines up at offensive tackle. Kitchens is a strong player, who’s violent in the run-game and flashes tons of potential as a pass-blocker. He has a 3.6 GPA and currently holds an offer from Mississippi State. As he continues to develop and improve his game over the next two years, every major institution will want to watch Kitchens.

Below is a QnA between Kitchens and myself:

What is your height and weight?

“I am 6’ 7.5”, 295lbs.”

What are some things you have overcome in life?

“I have always had a desire to play football ever since I was seven or eight years old. A lot of people saw my height and frame, but nobody knew how much I wanted to be good at it.

No one knows how hard I work and have trained to be recognized. I have had to work hard and go the extra mile in everything to overcome the shadows of bigger programs and schools in the area, since I am at a small school that is a 1A football. Everyone doubts what I can do because I’m not playing at a 5A, 6A big program. I want to prove that great talent can come from anywhere and don’t over look us smaller schools.”

What are your biggest accomplishments?

“One of my biggest accomplishments was competing for starting position on the O-Line my 9th grade year and playing at a higher level to match the upperclassmen. I always have my sights on playing college football and having my first offer from Mississippi State is my first step into the next level. Still have a lot to work on and to get better at but it’s nice to know that some college programs are looking at me. I love to prove myself and to show everyone don’t doubt my ability to preform at a high level.”

What player do you compare yourself to and why?

“I don’t really think I just compare myself to someone but I most definitely look up to several and try to play like they would play. Caleb Warren at Ole Miss plays with a lot of heart and passion. And, Jeffery Simmons and Jason Kelce are two professional guys I look up to and want to be like.”

What are your plans once you’re done with football and why?

“I would like to be a football coach once football is over. I love the game and everything that comes along with it.”

What is your GPA?

“My gpa is 3.6+.”

What do you like about the sport of football and how is it significant to you?

“Football, to me, is everything. I love the work that goes into it day in and day out. To push yourself everyday and to go through the practices with your friends and teammates is something great; go out Friday night and to play is the greatest feeling. To put in all that work and to show off on the field is all worth it.”

Do you play any other sports, if so which ones?

“I play football, I’m on the powerlifting team and the archery team.”

What is your 40 speed, Broad, Vert, Shuttle, ETC

“40 yard dash – 5.2
Pro shuttle – 4.6
Broad jump 7’10”
Wingspan 83”
Hands 9.75””

What is your dream school to play for in college?

“Growing up I would say Ole Miss. But, knowing if I get a shot to play in college, I would say just to be able to play in the SEC is a dream for me.”

What are your current football goals?

“My goal for football is to be the best, I want to be an all state player, to be in the Dandy Dozen for Mississippi would be an honor.”

What’s something you’re working to improve ?

“I am working on my pass-blocking steps and movements. Also working on agility and flexibility. Being able to move better as a lineman.”

What is a strength you have in the game?

“My strength in football would be run blocking and being physical. Being physical and aggressive is what I want when people say my name.”

What’s something football taught you?

“Football has taught me a lot so far. Things aren’t always easy or go how you plan. You have to get your head up and push through it. No matter the outcome just keep going and never give up. Give it your all and at the end give God all the Glory because everything happens for a reason and we are all blessed to be able to play the great game.”