Trevon Grimes at The Opening Regionals at Plantation American Heritage on Sunday, March 6, 2016. Photo: David Furones.
Ohio State and Florida remain the two schools in the lead for five-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Trevon Grimes -- with OSU at the top.
The Buckeyes have been known to be the top choice for the Midwesterner from Indiana who grew up an Ohio State fan for some time.
"Since I was a freshman, they just treated me like a son," said Grimes at Nike's The Opening Regionals on Sunday at Plantation American Heritage -- where he earned a spot at The Opening in Oregon. "They didn't look at me as a recruit. They looked at me as more of a family member."
Grimes added that having Hall of Fame wide receiver and former Buckeye Cris Carter as his position coach as a freshman only added to his feelings toward the program.
Despite everything that has pointed toward Ohio State for Grimes' services, he's still taking a good look elsewhere to assure he makes the best decision.
"Now that I have the opportunity to go there [OSU], it's like, 'Why not?' But as time has gone on, I've had a chance to look at other colleges -- Florida, Miami," Grimes says. "I know that it's a tough decision, but there are other schools in the running too."
You'll notice Grimes included UM on his own. He wasn't asked specifically about the Hurricanes. He clarified, though, that the Gators are No. 2 for him and the Canes are just one of the schools in the mix after the top two.
He first moved UF into that second spot when he took a Junior Day visit to Gainesville. The UF momentum remains since the trip in late January, which allowed him to see first-hand what his quarterback teammate, UF commit Jake Allen, means when he talks up the Gators.
"All he does is, 'Florida this, Florida that.' Now that I get a chance to actually know what he's talking about, I understand why he says the things that he does," Grimes notes. "He just says Florida has an amazing atmosphere, has amazing coaches, great facilities. Once I got up there, I walked through the doors to get there and right once I stepped in I felt love... I just felt welcome."
Of the Hurricanes, Grimes says he likes wide receivers coach Ron Dugans.
"He's a great man," Grimes says. "We sat down in his office and he didn't talk to me like a recruit, he talked to me like life lessons."
How hard will it ultimately be for any other school to beat out Ohio State?
"Pretty hard," Grimes says. "They have the lead, but nothing is impossible."
Grimes is uncertain of when he will make a final decision.
**Grimes and Allen say he will be the newly-minted No. 1 overall player in the nation in the Rivals rankings next time they are updated. As of now, he's ranked third and the nation's top receiver. He was alerted of the news on Saturday.
"I woke up, saw it and I was just amazed," Grimes says. "Hard work has paid off. I'm still speechless. It's a dream come true."
**A 6-4 receiver, Grimes models his game after someone similar in stature -- Calvin Johnson.
"Why not him? Growing up, I loved everything about his game. He's a big, tall receiver, stretches the field, deep threat guy -- huge and he's fast," Grimes says.
**While receivers like Miami-bound Sam Bruce and Michael Irvin and Illinois-bound Dominic Thieman are moving on from Aquinas, the Raiders will be reloaded once again with returning producers like Michael Harley and up-and-coming talent, including a transfer from Western in 2018 receiver Elijah Moore, a close friend to Grimes.
"I'm just looking at bringing him in, embracing him, getting him acclimated, showing him the little things," Grimes says. "I just feel me and Jake Allen's connection -- we all have an amazing bond.
"We look at each other like brothers, not teammates."
In addition, the Aquinas offense received a big transfer at running back from four-star senior Kyshaun Bryan.
Here are Grimes' junior year highlights: