When offensive coordinator George McDonald joined the Syracuse staff, he came with a reputation of huge recruiting connections to Florida. He has more delivered on that hype.
In his first full cycle, the 2014 class, McDonald helped deliver six Sunshine State products to the Orange. In 2015, seven more have been added including Grimes. The Orange may be done in Florida this cycle, but have done a great job at locking down talented prospects in the state.
Grimes joins Gerald Robinson, Colin Byrne, Sam Clausman, Dana Levine, Sterling Hofrichter and Andrew Spence as Floridians in Syracuse's 2015 class. It furthers their efforts in one of the most talent-rich states in the country, and continues the relationships the Orange are establishing with some of the better high school programs in Florida.
Syracuse came into the 2015 cycle looking for four linebackers. Grimes takes the second spot with Shyheim Cullen already in the mix. His commitment leaves two left. With the turnover coming in future years, it is a key position even with the influx of talent coming in with the 2014 class.
Luke Arciniega, Dyshawn Davis, Cameron Lynch, Josh Kirkland and Oliver Vigille are among those that will be using up their eligibility. Despite landing four in the previous class, it was still a key position as the Orange look to replace talent and depth on the roster.
Grimes gives Syracuse another athletic linebacker who can run. That skill set fits perfectly into their system as he has the ability to do damage blitzing and in run support. Grimes was one of Syracuse's top linebacker targets this class and took one of the few spots remaining.
Still left on the radar are three-star prospects Troy Henderson and Kyle Pugh as well as four-star Anthony McKeey. Henderson was set to decide on Friday, but delayed his decision after picking up a late Nebraska offer. He will visit the Cornhuskers before deciding.
Pugh visited Syracuse in June and the Orange are his biggest offer. He has yet to make a decision, but Syracuse should be considered the favorites.
McKee is a four-star prospect who may be considered a long shot for Syracuse. Still, expect them to pursue McKee as he looks to take a potential visit this month. Nothing has been scheduled yet, but anyone who visits gives Syracuse a shot.
Where Does Syracuse Go From Here?
While every time we say this the opposite seems to happen, the rest of the dead period should be relatively quiet for Syracuse. After that, several priority targets jump to the forefront. Jake Pickard and Qaadir Sheppard are expected to take return trips to Central New York. Austrian Robinson will look to visit in August.
Alex Parkinson's commitment may also come into focus a bit more by the end of the month.
Another defensive end, Peach State product G.G. Robinson may also take a visit.
Syracuse is in a good position right now with only a few slots left. They can be picky with their final targets, and are in on some they view as the most talented in the class.
Grimes has been a top target since they offered during the spring evaluation period. Landing him before he takes any visits is big for the Orange. Two linebackers down, two to go. Syracuse is on quite a run over the last 30 days.