It didn’t take Rick Neuheisel long to make an impression on one USC commit.
Bishop Gorman (Nev.) tight end Xavier Grimble, the number one tight end prospect in the country, loves the approach the UCLA head coach is taking with him, on a personal level.
But he’s not ready to jump ship just yet.
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re my favorite, but they’re a strong consideration,” Grimble said after school ended today. “They’re close to home, they’re an up-and-coming team and my relationship with Rick Neuheisel is really good. He wants me not just as a player but as a person, and I really feel that from him. When it comes down to everything – I need to wait and see what goes on and talk with my family – they’re definitely going to be in the decision.”
It’s a far cry from the solid USC commit Grimble has been for several months.
A 6-foot-5, 245-pound specimen Grimble committed to the Trojans in April.
“Just like everybody else it was a big shocker,” Grimble said. “But unlike some, I don’t think of it as Pete Carroll lying or saying he was going to be there always. It was a golden opportunity for him. Sometimes it’s not too bad to move on. I wish he would’ve stayed and would’ve been there, but I fully understand the opportunity for him. But I was very shocked.”
Grimble said he is in the process of setting up an official visit for this weekend but that nothing is finalized.
After a 4-8 season, the Bruins’ three-game improvement opened his eyes, particularly as the team marked improvement on offense.
“I was really interested to see it – my dad likes UCLA and was really happy when Coach Neuheisel got the job,” Grimble said. “That was my second offer and I was interested to see what he could do with the team. He came out this year, got a big win against Tennessee and did a great job taking a team that was pretty low last year and bringing them back.”
Ultimately, it might be that connection with Neuheisel that brings Grimble to Westwood.
“They’re definitely an up-and-coming program,” Grimble said. “That’s always a grand opportunity to be a part of, the start of something new and fresh with Rick Neuheisel. My dad loves him, my family loves him. He’s real genuine and he’s real honest with me.”