It's amazing how quickly an athlete goes from unwanted to desired in the NFL.
Running back Jonathan Grimes, the former Paul VI and William & Mary standout, experienced this quick transition after the recent NFL draft.
Grimes enjoyed a spectacular career at William & Mary, becoming the program's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,541), all-purpose yards (7,955), kickoff-return yards (2,289), and rushing attempts (936).
Yet possibly because he excelled only in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Grimes was not selected in the NFL draft.
"It was crazy," Grimes said.
Poor Grimes had only one phone, with plenty of people attempting to talk to him. He was alternating between NFL teams and his agent, Dominick Pilli of Sports Management Group Worldwide Inc. in Fairfax, Va.
"There must have been 10-11 teams calling right after the draft," Grimes said by phone. "But it all worked out."
It took about 25 minutes, but his immediate future was determined when Grimes agreed to a free-agent contract with the Houston Texans, a team not exactly short on quality running backs. Leading the way is Arian Foster, fifth in the NFL last season with 1,224 rushing yards. Ben Tate, who rushed for 942 yards (5.4 average), could start on many teams.
"The thing about free agency is that you can pick your team, and I thought I would do well in Houston," Grimes said. "With Arian Foster and Ben Tate, I felt I could compete for the No. 3 spot, and they are a team that runs the ball well, has a great offensive line, and I thought it would be a nice fit."
So apparently did the Texans.
"First of all, Jonathan is a very smart guy and he does a great job with extra effort every play," Texans running backs coach Chick Harris said by e-mail. "He can play the running back position, and he'll also probably be a person that can compete for a job on special teams."
Versatility is the key.
"Those are the types of guys you want - guys that are smart, guys that are quick to learn, and also being able to be a special-teamer," Harris said.
"Those things give him a better chance to make our team."
Grimes earned a degree in 31/2 years at William & Mary. He was a music major, and specializes in the piano. He also has written a number of songs.
He made the most of his football scholarship and certainly has something to lean back on, but right now, all he wants is to play in the NFL, even if he has to take a more difficult route.
"He should have been drafted," said Pilli, his agent.
Instead of being angry, Grimes will use the draft snub as motivation.
"I think it is always good for every player to have a chip on the shoulder regardless if there was a lot of notoriety," Grimes said.
He says he's grateful for having a chance, and if he sticks with the Texans, there likely will be a number of Houston fans from South Jersey.
"He's even a better person than a football player, and that is saying something," said John Doherty, his coach at Paul VI. "There are so many people who are thrilled for him."
No one is more thrilled than Grimes.
"Every kid grows up dreaming of playing in the NFL, and I have the opportunity and it feels great," Grimes said.
For Grimes, the disappointment of draft day is already gone. In his mind, it's time to go out and earn an NFL spot.
i dont like the fact that westhoff has a say on who stays and who goes based on special teams. trufant eric smith and bellore are perfect examples of this.
i hope this grimes kid works out.
let him practice there and see if he can do the job, if he can - and only the coaches will know that from practice - why not make the move?
Where's the downside here? He gets beat in a game, like our 7mm corner Cromartie does all the time?
I bet the Jets were waiting for the Rams to make a move with one of their RB's, but couldn't wait any longer. Jackson, Pead, Richardson & Ganaway are all on the the Rams roster.
[QUOTE=Rexipus Rex;4614693]Texans coaches reportedly "love" undrafted rookie RB Jonathan Grimes.
They reportedly like his downhill running style. Grimes would probably need Houston to keep four tailbacks to make the final 53, but he looks like a prime practice squad candidate. A four-time all-conference pick in the Colonial Athletic Association, Grimes ran 4.47 at 5'10/210 at his Pro Day this spring.
Wow - this sounds like a faster version of the 'prime' Shaun Greene we used to know.
The 'negatives' listed are more about him being one-dimensional. But if that dimension includes running hard right up the gut, and doing it quickly - sign me up. He'd make a nice change of pace back if Powell now becomes our primary.
Wonder if Grimes suits up for S.F. . . .
How come teams can just sign guys off anothers prac squad, any link that explains how this works?
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Also--If a team signs a player from the practice squad of its next opponent, the move must be made at least six days before the game; players signed from a practice squad also must count against the 53-man roster for three weeks (these rules are in place to prevent teams from signing practice squad players for a week just to get information on their next opponent; it's still possible, but these rules discourage the practice)
Reason being the weeks game plan is completed and passed out to players at Wednesday practice.
Last edited by C Mart; 09-25-2012 at 03:40 PM.
why is eric smith still on this team?
we are taking this thread off topic and im sorry.
Ic thx guys. Min 3 games on 53 man roster makes sense. Then they could just sign this guy for info n cut next week
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Solid receiver out of the backfield.