For Jalen Grimble, college represents an opportunity to take his game anywhere in the country.
So far, the 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end has picked up offers from over 10 programs.
Among the list are schools out West, from UCLA to USC, to schools down South, whether it is Tennessee or LSU.
On Saturday, Grimble and his father, Jerry, will hop on a flight out of Las Vegas. When they touch down in Baton Rouge, the time will start to tick on a Tiger staff that has a small window to entertain one of the nation’s top junior prospects.
“We are flying in on Saturday and leaving on Sunday,” said the elder Grimble. “The LSU coaches wanted us to come down for the Florida game, but the airline tickets were a bit pricey because we were trying to get them at the last minute. This weekend’s game against Tulane worked out better, and it will be one of the only unofficial visits, outside of the state, that Jalen will take this season.”
So far, Grimble has taken visits to UCLA and Utah. What will he and his father be looking for when LSU becomes team number three this weekend?
“We want to meet the staff and continue to build on that relationship, because having that bond with his coaches is important,” Jerry said. “Coach Miles and coach [John] Chavis have been on Jalen since last summer, so getting into town and spending time with those guys is important.
“Jalen also wants to get a feel for what Baton Rouge and the LSU campus are like,” he added. “We have some family in Louisiana, and my parents are from there, and we expect it to be a very nice atmosphere. You hear about what LSU is like on a game day, and this weekend we get to see that for ourselves.”
Jalen’s cousin and teammate, Xavier Grimble, is already committed to USC for 2010. Though the Trojans have extended an offer for the younger Grimble to join the program as well, Jerry stressed that his son remains up in the air with his decision.
“Jalen is a young guy, and he is very, very open right now,” Jerry said. “LSU is a school that he has always had some interest in, so getting over to campus and checking things out was a must for him. To get offered by an SEC school that has won championships is big.”
Barkevious Mingo, LSU’s freshman defensive talent from West Monroe High, is also one of Grimble’s cousins.
“Mingo is part of all the family we have down there,” said Jalen. “I am looking forward to that trip a lot, because I have never been to Louisiana like that – where we visit schools.”