This time last year, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman defensive linemen Jalen Grimble was watching his cousin Xavier Grimble go through the recruiting process with amazement.
He never envisioned he would be in the same position as his highly recruited cousin that would go on to become Rivals.com's No. 1 ranked tight end.
But here he is.
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It's the middle of July before scholarships to 2011 prospects can be officially offered in writing, but Grimble now has scholarship offers from major programs like LSU, USC, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV and Utah. Then just on Monday he added an offer from Tennessee.
"I'm shocked that this is happening so early for me," Grimble said. "I knew from watching Xavier that it could happen, but I never imagined I would be in a very similar situation as he is. I believed in myself and knew if I worked hard that good things would happen, but I guess until it happens, you don't know how blessed you really are."
Grimble said he's excited about the Tennessee offer, but at this early stage in the recruiting process he's excited about all the offers he's received. He's not leaning anywhere at this point and will worry more about his junior season than making up his mind.
"I won't commit until next June or later in my senior season," Grimble said. "I know I've been blessed to have all these schools offer me early on, and I like them all, but I can't get away from the focus on what's most important."
And that is his high school football team.
Bishop Gorman has a new coaching staff in place and should have the weapons once again to compete for a state championship and a lofty national ranking. After working out in 110-degree heat throughout most of this week in off-season drills, Grimble said he's already noticed a big difference in the team chemistry with the new coaches there.
"The team is so much more motivated and focused," he said. "We had around 17 days off where we could spend time on our own, but we kept working hard, trying to get better. We're excited about the new coaches. We think we're going to have an excellent season."
The new Gorman coaches are also excited about Grimble's potential to have a breakthrough season.
"Coach told me he's the best defensive end he's seen in both pass rush situations and in the run game," Grimble said. "That's really flattering to hear and gets me pumped up. I want to prove him right. I'm working hard to get down to 245-250 pounds, so I can be ready to do anything they ask of me."