Luke Grimm calls KU offer 'favorite toy under the Christmas tree'
Luke Grimm arrived in Lawrence on Saturday afternoon with something to prove. With fourteen offers to his credit, the 2020 prospect from Ramore-Peculiar (MO) was ready to do whatever it took to earn his first Power Five opportunity from the Kansas Jayhawks.
He did. And it happened.
“Trying to describe it is hard,” Grimm said of his moment with head coach Les Miles after KU’s One Day Camp. “How best could I describe it? Like when you’re a kid, and you get your favorite toy under the Christmas tree.”
“Like that feeling, kind of shock and excitement all at once. Crazy. Definitely crazy.”
The Show Me State prospect made it clear from the start of camp he came to dominate. He began the afternoon with a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, one of the fastest times on the day. But when position work began, the talented wide receiver did something no one expected.
“I shocked myself at what I did at defensive back,” he said of working at corner and safety with KU assistants DJ Elliot and Clint Bowen. “I never practiced defense (at Ray-Pec). I went into it blind, open to whatever they told me to do, and fix whatever they told me to fix.”
Grimm said he played fewer than 20 snaps in the Panthers secondary last fall, logging four tackles and two interceptions. His inexperience didn’t show on Saturday, as he made plays on both sides of the ball during 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 periods. On several occasions, he went from running passing routes to covering receivers on successive plays.
“I love to compete like that,” he said of his Iron Man effort. “I love to be able to test my strengths, and my weaknesses, and see what I’ve got to do.”
The Panthers senior put himself on the map last fall with 1,421 all-purpose yards and 9 touchdowns. He was a factor in the passing game, tallying 40 receptions for 676 yards and 8 scores, averaging almost 17 yards per catch. Those skills earned him plenty of praise from Jayhawks receivers coach Emmett Jones on Saturday.
“It was just awesome coming back after you made a great play,” Grimm said of Jones. “He was all smiling and giving you fist bumps, high fives, and everything. If you made a mistake, it wasn’t that big of a deal. He would tell you that you had made a mistake, ‘just work on it next time’. The amount of positivity and helpful coaching they gave was really a lot for just a four-hour camp.”
Grimm was one of the best players on the field all afternoon, but he wasn’t done. With the camp scheduled to run from 1 to 4 PM, he was part of a group of players that opted to stay after the regular session for another hour of work with the KU staff. It was then that the Jayhawks head coach finally got him to stop for a moment.
“He pulled me over, and he started talking to me about how he liked what I was doing,” Grimm said of Miles. “He was talking about how I reminded him of one of his players he had at LSU. He was saying he liked that I could play both ways, and that he wanted me. He was like ‘Now, what does that mean?’ He said he was going to offer me a full ride for either wide receiver or defensive back.”
“I was just completely shocked by it. And then (I was) pretty much like ‘Holy crap, this is actually happening,’ like pinch myself.”
“Just the fact that it’s Les Miles,” Grimm trailed off, trying to put his offer from KU in perspective. “It’s kind of like looking up to somebody, and then they tell you ‘I’m proud of you, kid.’ Just someone you think is awesome. It means more coming from him than it would a lot of people.”
After getting the news from Miles, Grimm walked across the field in the Jayhawks indoor practice facility to Todd and Pepper Grimm. They had watched anxiously as their son ran several miles over the course of the afternoon, all for this moment.
“They were both stoked,” Grimm said of his parents. My mom especially, because she’s a die-hard KU Basketball fan. Just to see the smile on her face was awesome. And my dad was just speechless from it. It was awesome to tell them that and see their reactions.”
“It's definitely motivation, and definitely proof. It makes me feel good to see that everything I’ve been doing, and everything I will do, has paid off. I know that I have a chance to go on and play at the next level, and then, hopefully, play in the NFL. I’m at the chance of college, and now I just need to go and prove why I can be the best of the best.”