Grimble Developing and Leading

The Trojans are entering their third week of fall camp and depth continues to develop at tight end. RS sophomore Xaver Grimble talks about continuing to develop his game as well as being a leader for the younger players.

With younger players adding some depth to the tight end line-up, USC head coach Lane Kiffin is looking to grow depth at the position by training the newcomers alongside Randall Telfer and Xavier Grimble.

The plan is set to frequently play two tight ends and Kiffin needs strong new players to be ready to step on the field in that third spot.

Grimble, a redshirt sophomore, now serves as a leader among the group, working with Telfer to help coach some of the younger players, remembering the guys he looked up to when he was in their position.

"It's been kind of cool because at first we were the young guys and we looked up to Rhett Ellison and guys like that and so now we have to take the younger guys like Junior Pomee and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick and just take them under, watch extra film with them kind of coach them out here on little details that can help them out throughout the season."

Grimble says he's impressed with the improvement of the younger players, admitting, "Actually I think further along than me and Randall were around this time a couple years ago."

A lot of attention has been put on Cope-Fitzpatrick and the freshman tight end is getting a lot of reps in summer camp. According to Grimble, "It's pretty rough for him right now. They're trying to teach him two positions, kind of like they did with me and Randall when we first came in, so obviously it's a lot on him being that young but he's doing a good job."

With Kiffin fighting to develop dependable players, Grimble and Telfer (along Cope-Fitzpatrick and Pomee) are trying to become all around players.

"We want to be that versatile so it really doesn't matter where we line up," he said, "The more we develop and prove to him that he can trust us out there with any calls or anything he wants to do, we'll be used. So it's kind of up to the players, more so to take it upon themselves."

For Grimble's personal improvement, it's all in the details.

"I'm just trying to perfect my craft pretty much, just do everything coach asks of me," he said "Whether that's blocking or running routes or catching balls, just trying to develop as an all around tight end so pretty much anything around those lines."

Grimble was humbled and excited by USC's No. 1 ranking in the AP Polls, only having found out after Saturday's practice.

He, like the rest of the team, is trying to maintain focused and not be distracted by the lofty ranking.

"Those votes and all that stuff won't win us football games. But it obviously is exciting to be in that place considering where we were," he said.

"I think we should eliminate it and look at it as a distraction. Because the more focus we put on that, the less focus we will probably spend on other things.


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