Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg-Ehrhardt safety Zeph Grimes made his decision earlier today. The 5-foot-11, 202-pounder decided to head north to the Big Ten over numerous other scholarships.
"I committed today at track practice," he said. "I called Coach Zook. I had talked to Coach West earlier today.
"Coach Zook was real excited. He talked to me about how he expects me to fit in with the guys and knows I'm excited about what I did. He told me to keep up the good work and keep my grades up."
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The decision for the Illini comes after a trip there a couple weeks back.
"They just made me feel at home even though it's far away," he said. "I like the program and coaching staff. They are really cool. Coach Zook is the man and I call Coach West every other day. He keeps in contact with my coaches too, checking in on me.
"I felt like they were the first ones to come at me and first come, first serve."
Distance was an issue for Illinois, but Grimes has no problem with that now.
"Football is football," he said. "That's how I play it. That was what I worried most about, but I thought about it and I love the program."
Grimes picked Illinois over offers from Colorado, Tulsa, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Michigan State and Arkansas.
Grimes is contemplating early enrollment as the possibility of playing time is available.
"I am thinking about leaving early in December," he said. "They've talked about my playing time and if I come in and work hard, I'll be viable to play. They aren't scared of starting freshmen."
Overall, Grimes is happy with his choice.
"I'm very excited about it and I think I made a good choice."