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Grant DuBose, a sophomore who played one season at Miles College, posted his second 100-yard receiving game Friday in the 49ers’ 42-39 win against Middle Tennessee: 114 yards and two touchdowns, 4 yards short of his career-high 118 yards in the season opener against Duke. He leads Charlotte with 323 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

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DuBose does not look like a player who spent 2020 working three and a half jobs in Alabama while waiting for a chance to play football again after entering the transfer portal. He got one when quarterback James Foster, a hometown friend, transferred from Texas A&M to Charlotte and encouraged the 49ers coaching staff to bring DuBose in for a tryout. The foundation is there. Now it’s time to build.

“Major shout out to [seniors] Victor Tucker and Cameron Dollar in the wide receiver room,” DuBose said. “I know I’m the one up here right now, but those guys have kind of taken me under their wing and shown me the way around the program. [They are] two guys that I would say that I kind of look up to and want to model how they move around in a facility. I feel like my development has been good but there’s always room for improvement.”

Said coach Will Healy: “He’s an exceptional human being, and for what he’s done and how he’s bought in, since he got here in July, is really, really impressive. I think the coolest part about Grant is humble enough to want to learn and grow, and all I want to do is help him and I think his teammates feel the same way. We’re very lucky to have him, and we have not even seen the best of what Grant can do.”

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Block first
DuBose does the dirty work, too. His blocking created space on running back Calvin Camp’s 44-yard touchdown to put Charlotte 28-24 going into the fourth quarter.

“In our wide receiver room, the block first mentality is one of our core values,” DuBose said. “So, just being a great teammate, because I know if the shoe was on the other foot, I know he would be downfield blocking for me also.”

Said Camp: “Honestly, when I looked up and I made the cut and I saw Grant just block down field, I just kept running. I just kept reading his block and he was blocking the whole time. I’m running, and I’m just looking at Grant, like ‘oh my God. Keep doing it. Let’s go! Let’s go!’ That was really a big reason why I scored. Credit to my receivers and my offensive line. Without them, I wouldn’t even have a 100-yard game. I really appreciate what Grant did. I made sure to congratulate him, [receivers Elijah Spencer and Victor Tucker] and whoever else was out there blocking for me.”

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Senior quarterback Chris Reynolds said his teammates are so competitive, if they were to play Ping-Pong, they would probably be throwing paddles by the end of the game. Reynolds broke former quarterback Matt Johnson’s school record for all-time passing touchdowns with four against Middle Tennessee, setting the new record at 45.

Healy joked he was faster than Camp.

“If I wouldn’t have had to stop at the end of the box (along the sideline), I would’ve beaten him to the end zone,” Healy said.

Charlotte improved to 3-1, a first at the FBS level, 2-5 in Conference USA openers and 2-4 all-time against Middle Tennessee. Both wins against the Blue Raiders during the Healy era, which began in 2019 (the programs did not meet last season due to the pandemic). Healy has taken the 49ers to a 9-2 record at home, 12-11 overall.

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