Grimes Displays Speed and Toughness

There are a couple of things you find in the best football prospects that come out of South Florida and they are speed and toughness. Hollywood Hills cornerback Tony Grimes has both and was on display last week at the BadgerSports Pass Skills Camp. The camp hosted most of South Florida's top skill players for the class of 2010 and Grimes was able to make a name for himself in the group.

When you watch Grimes, you can easily see what makes him so good. He gets in the face of the receiver and makes them leave the intended route to get where they need to go. When in pursuit, Grimes can turn on the jets and keep up with the best of them. Then you talk to him and you understand why he plays the way he does. He has total confidence in his abilities.

"I did pretty good, just started the day off great," Grimes said after a few hours of hard work against most of Miami fastest and most talented receivers. "I can't really say (where I get it from), I guess I am self made."

The improbable route Grimes took actually started at linebacker. As a freshman at Hollywood Hills, Grimes made a name for himself knocking the mess out of ball carriers. A year later, he was trying to cover wide receivers and keep them from catching the ball. Now, he plays the game like the ball is his when it's in the air.

"My coach Ferman helped me convert from linebacker to cornerback and helped me get everything right," Grimes said in appreciation for the meteoric change in his play from one position to another. "I have to give it to him. My freshman year I played on the outside (at linebacker).

It took a lot of work to get him to a level where he has already started receiving major college scholarships to play cornerback.

"I just started working on my footwork and had to get my hips right," he said. "Then I started playing football year around. Especially for a player like me, I never stop."

A confessed Champ Bailey fan, Grimes has been a Gator fan since he can remember. Right now, he holds scholarship offers from Oregon and Florida Atlantic. The offers are special to him and they put those programs in a favorable position according to Grimes. However, he would like to stay close to him e and play his football in the Sunshine State, which is why he lists Florida, FSU, and Miami among the others in his current top five.

Here is what he had to say about the five schools he has interest in at the moment.

Oregon: "That is a great program. They know how to win and I would love to be a part of winning."

FAU: "They are close and I can't say anything bad about them."

Miami: "They have a bunch of young guys and I would fit right in."

FSU: "I want to go there because not many corners have signed there and I would have an opportunity to step up as a true freshman. I like that opportunity a lot."

The Gators hold a special place in his heart and Grimes has already been to Gainesville for camp. He was a prime time player a year ago at Florida's Friday Night Lights camp. It was something he won't soon forget.

"They are a winning program and a big family that comes together as one," Grimes said of the Gators. "They know how to bring it to the table. It is nothing but hype there and it gets your momentum pumping and blood flowing.

"There isn't anything like Florida. Coming out on the field there (at Friday night Lights), everything was real exciting. Everything there is all hype, hype, hype, it gets you ready to play some ball.

He understands the plot at the end of the day and knows that if the offers don't come from the big three, he may have to take his game elsewhere. Judging by the way he does play, those offers should be coming soon, but in the mean time he understands the waiting game.

"If I have to leave Florida, then I have to," he said. "But I want to stick to the in-state schools."

In the end, Tony Grimes says, "graduation rates, depth charts, and coaches" are going to be the most important criteria for his signature on signing day. plans on following Grimes till he sends that signature.

Discuss on the premium forums

Fightin Gators Top Stories