UCLA Trying With Jalen Grimble

The UCLA coaching staff is taking a shot with the five-star defensive tackle from Las Vegas, Jalen Grimble, who is verbally committed to USC...

Jalen Grimble, a 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas, Nev., and his Class of 2011 teammates got to experience a thrill that most high school football players do not -- they got to go out on top with a win and a state title trophy.

"This year we only had 17 seniors and it was the smallest senior class we have had since I have been at Gorman," Grimble began. "Just going through the summer I just worked as hard as I can for those guys and whatever I did out on the field I did for them."

"The senior class last year said that nothing feels better than going out on top and I never did comprehend and understand what they were trying to say but now that I am at that same point I do get what they were talking about."

"My favorite memories from the school had to be all of the jokes that we cracked," Grimble continued as he wrapped up his feelings on what his senior season was like.

"But if I had to pick one specific moment that I will always remember it would be before the Palo game last year. Our coach had bagpipes and walked us out and I was so inspired and ready for the game that I started crying and as I was crying I said to myself ‘I can't cry someone may be watching' but as I looked around all of my teammates were crying too and that will always be one of my favorite moments.

Grimble still has some work left to do, because Gorman will also be defending a state basketball championship this season after winning it all one year ago. The Scout.com five-star defensive end did not receive much time to transition between the two sports.

"That next Monday right after the season was hard on me because I had to go out and clean out my locker in the locker room, so it was kind of a rough day on me, but soon as I was done I went basketball practice."

The basketball schedule this year is a very hectic one as the team will be traveling to Ft. Myers Fla., to compete in the City of Palms Tournament (12/17-12/22) and then they will turn around and head to Hillsboro, Oregon where they will play in the Les Schwab Invitational.

Still throughout it all Grimble, who made a non-binding verbal commitment to sign a letter of intent with USC on May 1, has still had to face the pressure of the recruiting process with schools like Florida, UCLA and Nebraska trying to get him to switch his pledge.

He has entertained UCLA on an in-home visit and he will also hosts members of USC and Nebraska staff in the coming days and weeks, when he can find the time to be home to have them over.

"So far I have had UCLA here," Grimble said. "I had Florida coming in before Urban Meyer left and that is all up in the air, but now I have USC and Nebraska (set up for an in-home visit)."

"You always go to the coach's office and you are always there in their environment, but it is different to have them over to your house and have them see what it is like in your environment and to see how things function in your house and see how you have grown up. It is just something that is a little different."

So far Grimble has scheduled only one official visit to see USC on Jan. 14 and he is definitely looking forward to the trip because he did not get the chance to be around the team that much in the fall.

"I only got down to the Oregon game for an unofficial and it was a Saturday morning decision. We woke up and we did not have practice, so me and my dad got in the car and went out to see that game."

"I am going to be out of town with the basketball team basically the whole month of December so I am just going to take my official visit to USC on January 14th. I am looking forward to getting out there."

Grimble had planned to take an official visit to Florida and basically had it set up, but with the Urban Meyer re-resignation he no longer has plans to go to Gainesville.

UCLA and Nebraska are still trying to convince him to take trips to see their schools, but right now it would seem fair to say while it is a possibility he could take one of or both of those trips, it is definitely no where near a certainty.

"I don't," Grimble said when asked if he had visit dates set to see either school.

"I don't know if I will go on a visit to UCLA. It is kind of doubtful, but I am not really sure. The Nebraska trip is still in the air on whether I should or not. I might end up going to Nebraska now that Urban Meyer left Florida, but I am not really sure."

USC fans will likely have some questions about the possibility that the #4 defensive end in the country might look around some, but it seems like everything is out in the open between the two parties, as a matter of fact the Trojans staff knew that Grimble was going to check out the Gators.

"My recruiting coordinator (Joe Barry) just asked me if I was a Trojan and I told him I was a Trojan at heart and I would always be a Trojan," Grimble informed. "He told me to have fun."

Grimble has been selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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