by Michael Smith
Logan Pratt was a player Grain Valley head coach David Allie was excited about heading into the 2020 season.
The then-junior was going to provide the Eagles with a lot of speed and a consistent deep threat for one of the best quarterbacks in the Kansas City area, Cole Keller. The opportunity for Grain Valley fans to see the Keller-Pratt duo looked like it would not happen, though.
Pratt tore his meniscus in an OTA (organized team activity) during the last week of July, so he elected to get arthroscopic surgery.
“I was really upset because I never had an injury like that before,” Pratt said. “It was not fun to sit out and watch. Once I found out it was torn, I was heartbroken because I thought I was going to miss out on my junior season and I wouldn’t be able to play with my friends who were seniors.”
He was expected to miss the season, but ended up coming back for the district championship game against Raytown, a game in which he caught a 52-yard touchdown pass from Keller. Pratt played in that game and in the Class 5 state quarterfinal contest against Platte County, a contest Grain Valley fell 31-28. In those two games, he totaled five touchdowns.
“My only thought was, ‘What can I do to speed this up?’” Pratt said of his recovery process from the meniscus tear. “I wanted to get back on the field before the season ended and I did. It was a trip to get there. I was happy to get out there and make an impact.”
Now, Pratt is preparing for his senior season, and will be a big part of an Eagles’ offense that will be led by a new quarterback in Caleb Larson, who is taking over Keller, who graduated last school year.
Pratt possesses blazing speed as he runs a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds. He was also a tremendous track athlete as he tied the school record in the 100-meter dash and helped the 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams break school records last spring.
Pratt should provide a strong one-two punch with running back Jaxon Wyatt, who rushed for 959 yards last season. Allie said he expects Pratt to draw double teams from opposing defenses, which will open opportunities for other receivers.
“Other teams won’t just be able to focus on the run,” Allie said. “Logan helps us have a multi-dimensional offense. There are other receivers besides him who are good. He has something that is hard to coach and that’s speed. He’s going to cause some fits for other teams with his speed. We have seen that this summer.”
And his success will depend on his connection with Larson, who he has been working with all summer to get better.
“We go out to the field every day we can and meshing together,” Pratt said. “We work on what routes I can run and get a feel for him throwing to me. In scrimmages and practices, we have a good connection.”
Pratt also figures to get involved in the run game and could get the ball on handoffs on end around and reverse plays. Allie said he wants to get him the ball as much as possible in open space. Because of his dynamic playmaking ability, Pratt will also return kicks and punts for the Eagles.
“When teams start focusing on him, he can be used as a decoy,” Allie said. “He’s a weapon we are looking to exploit this season.”
Pratt not only brings speed to Grain Valley, but he brings toughness, as well.
“He’s not afraid to mix it up,” Allie said. “He will try to block you when it’s his turn. He’s the first guy to hop in and defend a teammate if some words are said or some shoves come our way. He’s not the biggest kid. He’s 5-foot-8. He plays with the biggest heart.”
Right now, Pratt is focused on his senior season, but after it’s over, he said he would like to play in college. With the ability he has, Allie said he could easily see him play at the next level.
“His speed opens a lot of eyes,” Allie said. “He’s got a chance to run track and play football in college. He has a choice. He can go to a school that will let him do both or choose one or the other.”
Added Pratt: “My main goal is to play football in college. But if my route to getting a scholarship is through track, I will do that.”