Big Micah Grimes from Fort Meade High says that having the chance to visit with the coaching staff and players at Auburn gave him a leg up on the recruiting process for next season.
"I called Coach (Greg) Knox because they invited me to their Junior Day and I had already planned on going to Alabama a month in advance before I talked with Auburn," Grimes tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I had already sent in my thing for that, but I wanted to stop by Auburn. I am looking at everything I possibly can, from small DI to big DIs. Because of that I called Coach Knox and told him I would like to stop by and tour the facilities. I like Auburn and how things are going there."
Watching intently as the Tigers went through a variety of drills, the 6-5, 285-pound Grimes says that he liked everything about the practice after having the chance to visit with Knox and offensive line coach Hugh Nall.
"Auburn is awesome," Grimes says. "Coach Knox is awesome. He's a very intense guy. He was very energetic. He got me mixed in the practice. I was right there on the line. I like the offensive line coach a lot. He's my type of offensive line coach, just his demeanor. He's not the loudest coach in the world. He makes you do it, but I felt like he would understand me on a personal level."
In addition to checking out a practice, Grimes also had the opportunity to tour all of Auburn's facilities. That meant a visit with Auburn strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall. The visit was an important part of the trip for Grimes who says that he found out he's just what Auburn is looking for in a lineman.
"I like Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and what they're doing up there. I like Coach Yox, the weighlifting coach. He was straight to the point and pretty much described how I am. They want lean linemen, not too skinny, but they want linemen that can move. That interests me because that's how I am. The facilities are awesome. I like the weight room and the academic center was nice. I just liked everything.
"Right now I like Auburn a little bit more than Alabama. I went there the next day, but I got the preferential treatment at Auburn because I was the only recruit there. At Alabama there were probably 100 players there.
"At Auburn they had me in the practice and all of the linemen said hey to me. I just felt like I could fit in there. They were already in my top five, but now they're definitely in my top three. I know that Florida is my number one because I've grown up in Florida, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to Florida. Auburn is definitely two or three."
In addition to the Gators and Tigers, Grimes says that he's looking at Alabama, South Florida and Central Florida early in the recruiting process. He plans to camp at Florida this summer and could possibly make trips to both Auburn and Alabama as well.
A three-year starter for one of Florida's top small school programs, Grimes was dominating as a junior as his team advanced all the way to the state title game. Playing both ways he had 79 pancake blocks and 189 knockdowns on offense. Those numbers were good enough to earn first-team All-State honors. He was named second-team All Polk County at offensive tackle with twin brothers James Pouncey and LaShawn Pouncey from Lakeland High.