B/R Recruiting Breakdown: 5-Star WR and Ohio State Commit Trevon Grimes

Credit: Scout.com

Each week, Bleacher Report National Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue analyzes a different prospect based on in-person evaluation and intensive film study. Here’s our latest scouting report of a promising young athlete and how he projects as a college player.

      

Florida prep football powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas has produced an abundance of professional players, from NFL Hall of Fame inductee Michael Irvin to 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Joey Bosa.

Raiders receiver Trevon Grimes emerged as the program’s latest national standout almost instantly, gaining widespread recruiting attention as a freshman. He pledged to longtime leader Ohio State this summer, joining the Buckeyes class alongside fellow top-10 receiver prospect Tyjon Lindsey.

This impending duo announced their collegiate intentions together via a Bleacher Report video:

Grimes, rated No. 3 among receivers and No. 27 overall in Scout’s 2017 class rankings, started his senior season in strong fashion. He collected 15 catches for 274 yards and two touchdowns through three games, according to MaxPreps, before suffering an ACL injury that ended an impressive high school career.

Grimes averaged 18.3 yards per reception since 2015, snagging nine scores in the process.

An Indiana native, he’s set to return to action in the Big Ten Conference next season. Before a new chapter gets underway in Columbus, let’s take a closer look at Grimes as the latest subject in our weekly B/R Recruiting Breakdown series.

             

The Basics

High School: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

Size: 6’4″, 202 lbs

Recruitment Status: Committed to Ohio State on Aug. 22, 2016

      

Prospect Assessment

  • Emerged as a major Power Five recruit early, landing scholarship offers from Ohio State, Auburn, LSU and Tennessee before the start of his sophomore season. 
  • Validated initial hype by claiming positional MVP honors at a talent-laden 2015 Nike regional camp in Miami; bested several blue-chip 2016 recruits for the award.
  • Completed the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds this summer at The Opening; also logged a 33.8-inch vertical jump and 4.01-second agility shuttle (No. 2 among receivers who underwent Nike Football Rating testing).
  • Former University of Oregon and NFL receiver Damon Griffin assessed Grimes after coaching him at The Opening; said his ceiling is “extremely high,” adding “it’s going to be up to him.”
  • A highly emotional competitor. This trait can be a double-edged sword.
  • Thrives in man-to-man setting, utilizing length and speed to overwhelm high school opponents.
  • Will be challenged to adjust downfield attack while gaining familiarity with collegiate defensive zone schemes; ability to adapt and consistently gain separation against athletic, savvy coverage defenders may ultimately determine if he emerges as an all-conference-level performer.
  • Outstanding extension provides a downfield safety net for aerial attacks; massive catch radius that creates matchup issues and gives him an advantage on 50-50 balls.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback and Florida Gators commit Jake Allen: “There’s a chance for a big play anytime you just put the ball near him.”
  • He is particularly lethal when found in stride, gliding through defensive seams after pulling down a reception; major threat to accumulate yards after the catch in bunches.
  • Strong hands that fight through traffic for the football; plucks contested passes with authority.
  • Possesses a college-ready physique that will be further enhanced during his first year in a college weight training and nutritional regimen; could comfortably approach 220-pound mark and become better equipped to handle press coverage.

We alluded to Grimes’ penchant for picking up substantial chunks of yardage after gaining possession. This is well-illustrated in the sequence below, which begins with him receiving the football in space, approximately two yards behind the line of scrimmage as multiple unblocked opponents approach:

Credit: Hudl

When Grimes grabs the pass his momentum is actually carrying him toward the football and away from the end zone. This is when rare acceleration shines, as he charges upfield with a smooth burst off the right foot that sends him surging full-stride through an arm tackle:

Credit: Hudl

After easily evading the crashing safety, Grimes seemingly takes the other defenders by surprise when he hits yet another gear and splits them. The linebacker and cornerback each manage to get a hand on him, but neither slows his sprint, as this play results in a 26-yard pickup that sets up St. Thomas Aquinas at the 2-yard line:

Credit: Hudl

Grimes won’t often receive one-on-one treatment moving forward, but when he does against high school foes it should be viewed by quarterbacks as easy money. As usual, in the screen shot below, an opposing defender surrenders nearly half a foot of height in their matchup:

Credit: Hudl

The St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback (No. 7 in this instance) doesn’t even drop back before lofting a floater toward the back of the end zone. Grimes targets this region off the snap and gets to the spot with solid positioning that enables him to leap away from this overmatched cornerback. 

The toss isn’t exactly well-placed, but as Allen mention during our earlier assessment, the goal is to put the ball in an area for Grimes to exploit. He does that here, high-pointing the pass and pulling it down for an off-balance touchdown reception:

Credit: Hudl

       

Long-Term Outlook

Grimes is set to enter an enviable situation at Ohio State, where Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer has assembled one of college football’s finest stockpiles of quarterback talent. This promises to create a tremendously competitive environment for an offensive attack loaded with playmakers. 

Considering the program’s crowded receiving corps—freshmen Austin MackAlex StumpK.J Hill and Binjimen Victor were each considered blue-chip recruits—early opportunities may be difficult for Grimes to claim. His initial situation becomes murkier when you throw in the fact he will be coming off a knee injury and vying for reps with fellow lauded 2017 pledge Tyjon Lindsey

What are realistic expectations for 5-star WR Trevon Grimes at Ohio State?

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    What are realistic expectations for 5-star WR Trevon Grimes at Ohio State?

  • Immediate impact player for Buckeyes offense as a freshman.

    39.7%
  • It will take some time, but he will eventually emerge as a key contributor.

    60.3%

Elite physical stature, speed and athleticism set Grimes apart from the pack in terms of “high-ceiling” potential. Coaches who worked with him at The Opening express optimism about continued progression if he remains mentally engaged and diligent about polishing his craft.

As Grimes grows larger and more nuanced, his natural skills will be further augmented, and he presents No. 1 target potential at the highest level of college football. We see similarities to former Texas A&M Aggies standout and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Mike Evans, which sets a rather high bar for development down the road.

       

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Quotes and observations obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Prospect ratings courtesy of Scout.

Follow Tyler via Twitter: @TDsTake.