He’s wanted by nearly every school in the country. Ravenwood defensive end Reggie Grimes II is a five-star prospect and the No. 1-ranked recruit in the state of Tennessee.
But being considered the best on paper isn’t good enough for the senior standout. He wants to prove it.
So, during the summer weeks when many high school athletes soak in the break that comes with the TSSAA mandatory dead period and the July 4th holiday, Grimes II sought out to challenge himself.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback nightmare competed at the Opening in Frisco, Texas. Heralded as the biggest college football recruiting combine in the country, the Opening is one of the biggest stages for high school athletes to showcase their skills and get elite-level training.
“It means a lot being there,” Grimes II said. “Going out there and competing showed me where I stack up against all the elite defensive linemen and offensive linemen as well. It showed me everything I needed to see. I’m glad that I got to experience that.”
Playing alongside high school football’s best-of-the-best, Grimes II learned a lot about himself and his game during the showcase, stating he found some “new moves” that will help him with his pass rush.
“I learned some different moves and some different counters,” Grimes II said. “I learned a bunch of new moves when it comes to pass rushing. I got to compete against the best high school football players from around the nation, which was great. Competition-wise it was great, just learning new stuff to work on here and there.”
Grimes II made headlines at the end of May when his family announced they would be transferring from Mt. Juliet to Ravenwood. Reggie’s father, Reggie Sr., was hired as a full-time teacher and the new defensive coordinator for the Raptors.
Going from one elite defense to another, Grimes II will be playing a tougher schedule in 2019 as Ravenwood plays a gauntlet of who’s who in Class 6A, beginning in Week 1 with Centennial.
From there, things only get tougher as the Raptors travel to Murfreesboro in Week 2 to play Blackman, followed by a Week 4 matchup against Arkansas powerhouse Pulaski Academy in the Friday Night Rivals Game of the Week, then games against Brentwood in Week 5, CPA in week 7, Cane Ridge in Week 9 and Independence in Week 10.
In addition to facing tougher competition, Grimes II will also be playing alongside some defensive studs on the Raptor front seven, including Region 6-6A Defensive Player of the Year and Main Street PrepsWilliamson County Defensive MVP Bryan Rice, linebackers Junior Colson and Avery Miller, and defensive end Luke Shouse.
“(The environment at Ravenwood) is basically how college is going to be,” Grimes II said. “It’s nice to have a little taste of that right now. There’s a lot of things that (Bryan Rice, Junior and Luke) do well, there’s things that I do well (and bring to the table). There’s also things I don’t do well. So, all of our strengths complement each other, and with our weaknesses, we know how to work through those now. We’ve spent some time together and I’m excited to see where this goes.”
While Grimes II has his pick of schools with nothing left to prove in his senior year, he remains hungry, focused on becoming the best version of himself that he can be and bringing home a state championship along the way.
“I knew at the beginning of the summer that I wasn’t as good as I needed to be,” Grimes II stated. “Right now, I’m still not as good as I need to be. So, I’m going to keep working and keep grinding until I’m good enough and my team is good enough to win a state championship, commandingly.”