Reggie Grimes Primed To Be Another Key Piece In Oklahomas DL Depth

After a year of adjusting to college football, defensive end

Reggie Grimes is ready to get his hands dirty in the rotation.

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The former 4-star recruit and consensus top 150 prospect from Brentwood, TN, said the adjustment period was tough for him last year, but he finally has his feet under him at Oklahoma.

“Coming from high school, coming from being ‘The guy,’ and then getting here and everyone was the guy in their high school,” Grimes said Tuesday during a Zoom press conference. “At first last season, I just didn’t get it.”

When the dust settled after last year, Grimes had only logged six total tackles and one quarterback sack, but he was pleased with where he was at to finish the season.

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“Eventually I worked my way up into the rotation and at the end of the year,” he said. “By the Florida game, I’m playing a lot.”

Grimes said the biggest barrier for him was learning

Alex Grinch’s defense and then translating those mental strides onto the field. Now after a normal offseason full of spring football, summer workouts and fall camp, Grimes said he knows the scheme and is primed for a much better 2021 campaign. It wasn’t until late in the season that the switch finally flipped for him, Grimes said.

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“I wanna say the second time we were supposed to play West Virginia last year,” Grimes said. “I had a really good week of practice. It wasn't just doing stuff that I didn't know how to do... I mean, I knew the defense… Now, everything's starting to click, make plays, all that stuff.”

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With that experience under his belt, Grimes said he mentally was in the right place to attack this offseason and continue to grow.

“The only real difference between me freshman year and me now is just confidence—confidence in the things that I’m doing,” he said. “And now that I’ve seen it, I’ve actually bought into what coach Grinch, what

Coach (Jamar) Cain, what those guys are selling. Now that I’ve actually bought into it, I’m striving, I’m making plays.”

picture">>Jamar Cain coaching the OU defensive ends and outside linebackers, including Reggie Grimes (14)

Jamar Cain coaching the OU defensive ends and outside linebackers, including Reggie Grimes (14)

Grimes isn’t the only one who feels good about his play heading into the season. Outside linebackers and defensive ends coach Cain said he’s excited to see what kind of production the Sooners will get out of Grimes this season.

“I expect a lot out of Reggie this season,” Cain said during his press conference on Tuesday. “Reggie is an interesting kid because his dad was a former player, his dad was a coach so Reggie takes coaching really well. He’s hard on himself which is good and bad in the same instance.”

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Even as he’s taken strides though, Cain said it wasn’t all smooth sailing this offseason, but Cain said that Grimes rebounded nicely.

“Reggie kind of hit a wall in the middle of camp,” Cain said. “But in this last week and a half, he’s taken off. I’m excited to see what he’s done. Reggie was a heavy power rush guy, now he’s actually trying to throw some pass rush moves and he’s developing really well.”

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If Grimes can translate his production over the spring and fall to Saturday’s he’ll just add another cog into what is becoming an impressive machine along the defensive front for the Sooners. A high level of play behind

Isaiah Thomas will allow Cain and Grinch to rotate even more, keeping Thomas as fresh as possible. It could also free up the coaches to slide Thomas inside for a bit, as they did last year, should OU get into a bind and need an extra body on the inside for a game or two.

“I know the defense now,” Grimes said. “Now, it’s just being comfortable with it and making plays.

“I feel I have taken huge strides in that regard just as far as knowing what to do technique-wise and then I can just cut loose and be a football player.”


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Source : https://www.si.com/college/oklahoma/football/reggie-grimes-primed-to-be-another-key-piece-in-oklahomas-dl-depth

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