Though he just completed his sophomore season, Jalen Grimble has more offers on his plate than most 2010 prospects.
LSU, USC, UCLA and Tennessee are some of the out-of-state schools that have extended scholarships, a list that Grimble said should grow over the coming months.
“There are a couple of other schools that I am waiting on, but I definitely have a bunch of the big offers in,” he said. “It feels really good to know that you are wanted, but I am just trying to stay humble with it all.”
The LSU offer, which was one of the first the 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end landed, came as a surprise.
“It felt great to get an LSU offer, but pretty crazy at the same time,” Grimble said. “I know that they are an SEC powerhouse, and I also know that they are probably one of the best teams I have seen in college football. Two national championships in the past few seasons show that they produce.”
With schools from coast-to-coast pulling at the rising junior, what could LSU offer that would separate them from the pack?
“The strength of their defensive line stands out,” he said. “Their ability to turn out NFL draft picks has been brought to my attention a lot. I see what a program like that does and what they produce, and that history combined with their talent stands out.”
Jerry Grimble, Jalen’s father, said that a visit to Baton Rouge – where they can sit down with the LSU staff - is already in the works.
“We have family in Louisiana, so we will certainly make a trip down there,” Jerry said. “He is not stuck just looking at west coast schools, so we encourage him to get out and look around. He has been to Louisiana four or five times, but never to Baton Rouge.”
On that trip, meeting up with Tiger freshman Barkevious Mingo will be a must.
“Mingo is my cousin … he is part of all the family we have down in Louisiana,” Jalen said. “I am looking forward to that trip a lot, because I have never been to Louisiana like that – where we visit schools. My family lives in the country, so this will be a big city experience.”
Taking a hard look at the campus once he gets to Baton Rouge, his father noted, will be priority number one.
“LSU is big time, and it was one of those offers that everyone around Las Vegas was talking about once [Jalen] got it,” Jerry said. “LSU is one school he will really look at, because when you get an offer from an SEC school that was a national champion, that is huge.”
Checking out the academic side of things, Grimble stressed, will be just as important as the Tigers’ football operations.
“I always tell Jalen that he is not going to college to get a degree in P.E.,” Jerry laughed. “He takes school seriously, so academics will definitely play a big role. He wants to major in math, whether it is finance or economics, so he will definitely be looking at what LSU has to offer.”
With cousin and teammate Xavier Grimble already committed to USC for 2010, the pressure to stay out west will certainly be applied. Yet, for now, the road remains open.
“Of course Xavier is always talking to me about how great USC is, but he understands that this is my decision,” Grimble said. “I am wide open right now, and no school is a leader above anyone else. I am going to get out and take visits and go from there.”
As a sophomore, Grimble recorded 28 tackles and five sacks.