Once 6’5” wide receiver Jordan McCray left UNLV for Oklahoma State, the search was on for another tall wideout. In comes Randal Grimes, a former Desert Pines High School, USC Trojan, and Minnesota Golden Gopher who chose to come home and play in front of his family, who he says are going to be there for as many UNLV Football games as they can. He is looking forward to the opportunity and said that he came home because he “Felt like UNLV was a better spot for me, and just [more] focus. Have my family near me and help me focus and stuff like that and why not be a Rebel…..Definitely happy to be home, definitely happy to be back and be a Rebel. It feels very good that I’m gonna have my family, my little girls come to watch me every day. I’m just really excited to put in the work.”

Blame it on the city: Randal Grimes is finally back home

Playing in a scheme such as USC’s, who play various offensive sets, he was able to adapt to UNLV’s offense and it was quite similar. With the rest of the team learning how things work with new offense coordinator Garin Justice, and Grimes just coming in, it was a near seamless transition for Randal who said he felt more “focused” and he knew what to do in certain schemes. Overall he said it “felt good.” He didn’t have to learn a new offense and everything just fit together. Coming from USC, he said, “Definitely helped a lot. Coming from USC, offense was very similar.”

 

It wasn’t just coming from a similar scheme that helped his transition be as smooth as possible. He also knew UNLV quarterback Marckell Grayson, whom he played with in high school. With the chemistry already there and the offensive scheme the same it feels natural for him to be at UNLV. Plus, according to wide receiving coach, Cedric Cormier, he used to come watch his old teammates at practices and games. He said, “What’s funny about Randal [Grimes] is that all these guys knew Randal because he’s a local kid. Being from Las Vegas, he would come up here every now and then because he’s good friends with Marckell Grayson so they all knew him. So, it was a really smooth transition. They already had prior relationships with him before he got here.”

Blame it on the city: Randal Grimes is finally back home

This not only helped them in recruiting Randal to UNLV, but also in making him feel as comfortable in the system as can be. Having missed Spring Ball but already knowing a lot of the offense, it really helped him to open eyes at practice where he has taken the offense and run with it. He has already surpassed Spring Showcase standout and redshirt Freshman, Patrick Ballard, as the ‘X’ receiver. According to Offensive Coordinator Garin Justice, “The sky is the limit with Randal. He has unlimited potential as far as what he can be. The learning curves been some, but he’s really adjusted well to that.

It’s really you’re thinking about what’s going on compared to now I also have to play hard with that and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight and that’s a sign of maturity that he’s getting better at that every single day. We’re really, really pleased with where he’s at right now, he’s still has to develop, he’s still has to grow, I think Randal’s a guy who you see week in and week out and will develop more and contribute more to the team……“[Patrick Ballard] a guy who’s going to play a lot of ball, him and Randal Grimes who seem to play that X position and Randal [Grimes]…… He’s probably going to get the bulk of the reps, ”

Blame it on the city: Randal Grimes is finally back home

At 6’4”, Grimes is the tallest wide receiver on the team. Ballard is a close second at 6’3”. It really helps starting quarterback Armani Rogers have faith in him to throw the ball up and trust that Grimes will come down with it, being that Rogers has a lot of faith in his wide receivers to make plays, he trusts Grimes enough already to say, “[Randal Grimes] definitely a big weapon to have. Being able to go up there and make 50/50 balls a lot easier, and just making plays.”

 

The amount of trust Randal Grimes already has in Armani Rogers and the fact that he understands that Armani’s height is an advantage to the offense is good news. Grimes said, “I think [Armani’s frame] it helps a lot, since he’s able to see a lot down the field, and being able to pick out his targets very easy. He can definitely move up and specialize in the pocked, so I think it is great deal.” With Grimes being 6’4” and Armani Rogers 6’5”, there shouldn’t be a worry that Randal Grimes is going to have plenty of opportunities to make plays, like Coach Justice said. It is only going to help Armani further improve in the passing game with a tall receiver who is also reliable.

 

The chemistry and cohesiveness is mutual between the two and Grimes said that he works out with the wide receiver group and hangs out with the rest of the offense to aid in his transition to UNLV and further his chemistry with the group.

“The most difference from day 1 until now. I definitely feel like I am catching on to the offense pretty quickly, me [Armani Rogers] the lineman and stuff, everyone just getting together and just going over stuff, day after day. It’s a really big help, because I got guys that have been here vets and stuff like that. Pushing me every day to just get better. So, every day I’m just going in the right direction. Everything like just keep stacking my days, that’s all I want to do.”

 

With his quick ascension up the depth chart, that fact that he already knows his teammates, and his knowledge of the system, these things are going to benefit him in his first season as a Rebel. He is looking forward to it more than anyone else, for the chance to play in front of his family for his home city and to help UNLV make a bowl game it couldn’t fit together as well as it could.

Blame it on the city: Randal Grimes is finally back home

Randal Grimes finished his interview by saying, “Definitely looking forward to it, it’s a big game for the Rebels, in general, with our last season at Sam Boyd and stuff like that. It’s going to be fun. I’m definitely looking forward to it, got my family coming out, everybody coming out. I’m ready to get this team rolling and just ready to start this season off right.”