RECRUITING: Four-Star Receiver Shuns PAC-12, SEC, Transfers To Weber State
(Photo provided by Randal Grimes)
NAME: Randal Grimes
PREVIOUS SCHOOL: UNLV
POSITION: Wide Receiver TOP SCHOOLS: Committed to Weber State (Other interested schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Jackson State, Tennessee)
Weber State football announced one of their biggest – if not, THE biggest – signings in school history today.
The Weber State Football social media accounts posted that Randal Grimes, a 6’4”, 210-pound wide receiver out of Las Vegas, Nevada, signed with the Wildcats today.
Grimes, a four-star recruit out of high school with a 92-overall rating, per 247 Sports, was the 11th highest-rated athlete in the nation. The star wide receiver was catching the eyes of the entire country during his time at Desert Hills High School in Sin City. He had offers from the likes of Nebraska, BYU, Cal, Oregon State, Tennessee, Utah and Washington State, among others, but turned them all away so that he could become a USC Trojan.
While in Los Angeles, Grimes was eager to test his skills against NFL-caliber players. He said of his time at USC, “I learned how to compete at the highest level. I played there a bit and I learned how to work hard. I played with a lot of guys who are in the NFL now, and I learned the structure of being a football player. I learned what NFL scouts look for and I saw it first-hand with guys like Sam Darnold.”
While a freshman at USC, he was involved in a stacked WR corps and didn’t see a lot of playing time. He also happened to be too far away from Las Vegas, where his newborn daughter was.
He had received a scholarship offer from UNLV coming out of high school and wanted to make the move closer to her so that he could be a better father.
Playing for UNLV was an extremely educational experience for Grimes. He had the opportunity to play for a coach that he’d known since high school, Tony Sanchez, and had the benefit of staying home to be close to his daughter.
“I got to really experience how to play in a game,” Grimes told Weber State Weekly. “I got a lot more playing time and I understood the game a lot more. I got to play against some of the big schools in the Mountain West and SEC. I got my first touchdown that season and it just kind of took off from there.”
In 2019, the most recent season in which Grimes played, he make key contributions to the Rebels’ offense, playing in 11 games, catching 44 passes for 696 yards and hauling in seven touchdowns.
As to why he left UNLV, the superstar mentioned, “It wasn’t the place for me. Had a couple issues, not with coaches, but just with myself. I needed to stand out more myself, and Weber State was one of the great options I had.”
And Grimes definitely had some options.
It was announced on December 22, 2020 that Grimes decided transfer away from UNLV to enter his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal. In his most recent experience as a recruit, Grimes had interest from Jackson State, where Deion Sanders is currently coaching and assembling quite the recruiting class, as well as Tennessee, Arizona and Arizona State.
Although the team announced his signing on National Signing Day, it’s been two weeks since Grimes has been in Ogden, so he really wasn’t in the Transfer Portal for very long.
He knew what he wanted in a school and football program, and he didn’t take long to make a decision.
When asked about his most recent recruiting experience, Grimes said, “It was good, it was really short. I didn’t really pay attention to a lot of other schools. I wanted to go somewhere with good coaching and good people around me, play some good ball and be focused. I had a friend that went to high school with me that plays at Weber State. He recruited me more than the staff did. It was special, I got on the train with him and I want to go get another championship.”
The friend that got Grimes to join the Wildcats was All-Big Sky cornerback Eddie Heckard.
Prior to these two weeks in Utah, Grimes had never been to Weber State or to Ogden and claims that he’s just starting to get acclimated to the high elevation and thin air. He enjoys how quiet it is, in comparison to his hometown, and loves the beautiful scenery on and around campus.
The scenery isn’t the only thing that he likes about Weber State, though. He loves the coaches and thinks this team has the talent to go really far.
“It blew my mind how real and genuine [the coaches] are with the players; they care about the players outside of football and life after football,” Grimes said. “It’s a big deal with players who want to take this far. They want coaches who are genuine and that aren’t just using the players for football. You want to know the coaches are there for you and who want to bring the best out of you. The guys on the team are good dudes, top tier players, […] they’re just really good. We can compete with a lot of teams in the level. I’m very excited for this coming year.”
As far as Grimes’ weaknesses go, right now he’s been having a hard time adjusting to the elevation, but it’s getting better. He also wants to see himself get a little more crisp while running routes. Without having played the fall 2020 season, he’s still working on getting back into football mode, but there’s no doubt that he’ll come around.
His strengths, on the other hand, are enough to make any Wildcat fan excited for football season.
Grimes is a downfield threat who can catch high-point passes like Randy Moss. Yards after the catch have been a major focus for him with his time off, too, which is something that he says Weber State coaches are fantastic with. He’s, obviously, got killer size for a receiver and has an intimidation factor when he lines up against defensive backs. Something that the opposition typically isn’t expecting, however, is for someone with his size to be able to run fast and make quick cuts.
Well, the last time Grimes ran a 40-yard dash, he ran a 4.4.
In addition to his talent, Grimes bring intangibles that are invaluable. He’s incredibly competitive, but also plays the game with a happiness that teammates love. Although Grimes prides himself on being a high-energy people person, he doesn’t take the game lightly. He’s been playing football for a long time and intends on playing well after his college career is over.
With only having played two seasons of college football, Grimes still has another two years of eligibility left and has applied for a waiver to be eligible to play this spring. According to Grimes, the waiver is, “looking pretty good,” and he’s hoping to be able to play in most, maybe all, of the spring 2021 season.
When he’s not playing football, Grimes loves being around people. He now has two daughters – ages one and two – and says he’s always in “dad mode.” As a “people person,” he loves spending his down time with family and friends. He also is the proud owner of a Honda motorcycle and goes for a ride to clear his mind whenever he gets the chance. One of his other hobbies is just sitting down and watching football and other sports.
As a communications major, Grimes would love to become a motivational speaker for youth. He believes he can use football as his platform to help communicate and connect with young people, and he thinks that he has the ability to help young people find a good path in life. He also has goals of making it big and using his time, money and talents to help fight poverty and maybe open a homeless shelter one day.