Raise your hands if you thought Hezekiah Grimsley would be the freshman receiver to stand out for the Virginia Tech Hokies in 2017?
That honor would have gone to Caleb Farley, but a knee injury postponed that for one year. So, that created an opportunity for another young player and Grimsley is apparently the player who’s taking full advantage of it.
Grimsley, a 6’0”, 172-pound true freshman from Lafayette High School in Williamsburg, is a player most ticketed for a redshirt season. Farley’s injury, as well as the departures of Isaiah Ford and Bucky Hodges to the NFL, created openings for multiple young receivers to step up opposite of Cam Phillips.
Head coach Justin Fuente met with the media last week and he singled out Grimsley for his performance throughout fall camp, per Norm Wood of the Daily Press.
“Grimsley has been a pleasant surprise for me,” Fuente said. “Not that I didn’t think he was a good player, but he’s been really consistent for a true freshman.”
Offensive coordinator Brad Cornelson echoed Fuente’s sentiment.
#Hokies OC Brad Cornelsen says freshman WR Hezekiah Grimsley has been one of the biggest surprises in camp. "He's picked it up quick."— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) August 14, 2017
Anytime the head coach mentions you by name, especially at a position of need, it is a good sign. Grimsley's size would indicate he’s better suited for the slot. However, coaches have said he will play all along the formation. Junior C.J. Carroll is the starter in the slot. Grimsley will compete with Phil Patterson, Eric Kumah and fellow freshman, Sean Savoy, among others for significant time at receiver this fall.
This is another benefit of Fuente naming Josh Jackson the starter this early in camp. It allows him to work with all of the receivers and develop a rapport with some of them.
With the season opener just 13 days away, the Hokies are trying to figure out a rotation for the West Virginia game. And, as of now, Grimsley appears to be squarely in the mix.