Zeph Grimes Enjoys Visit To Illini Campus

The Fighting Illini football team continues to recruit well despite the frustrations of a 3-9 season. A group of new coaches has brought with them an enthusiam that appears contagious. For instance, three South Carolina athletes flew in last weekend for a visit, and the Illini made a good impression on them. Zeph Grimes might be the highest rated.

Bamberg-Ehrhardt head football coach Kevin Crosby flew in with three top prospects to get acquainted with the Illinois football program and school last weekend. A close friend of Illini outside linebacker coach Ron West from his decade at Clemson, Crosby and his players are intrigued by the Big 10 school.

Zeph Grimes and Demetrius Williams are both coached by Crosby. Winnsboro Linebacker Ralph Cooper flew in with them. Williams is a top running back with two more years of high school remaining. Grimes is a highly rated prospect with the size and speed to play early in his college career.

Grimes doesn't like to boast. In fact, he often has little to say. But highlight film shows him to be a fast, aggressive defender. He usually plays linebacker for his high school team but projects as a safety in college.

Speaking hours before his return to South Carolina, Grimes admitted he was enjoying his visit to the Illinois campus.

"The visit is going pretty good. I've been getting acquainted with the players and finding my way around campus. Mostly I've been talking to the coaches."

What does he think of the UI?

"I like it. It's a pretty good school."

The 5'-11", 200 pounder was looking forward to meeting with head coach Ron Zook before returning home.

"I'm real excited about that."

Crosby suggests his players choose three schools and then decide among them. He appears to be encouraging Grimes to include Illinois among his top three.

"I'm not ready to make a commitment, but they're one of the top three though. I'm also considering Michigan State and Tennessee."

When does he think he might be ready to finalize his decision?

"I'll probably decide during the season."

Grimes runs track in the spring. His events are the 100, 200, 4 X 100 relay and 4 X 400 relay. His best hundred time so far this spring is 10.9.

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