Class of 2021

Kamonte Grimes

HometownNaples, FL
High schoolPalmetto Ridge
Commit dateAug. 16, 2020

Kamonte Grimes' most recent highlight film includes “utility knife” in the title. Pick a sequence, and he could be anywhere on the field.

Grimes — a three-star prospect out of Naples (Fla.) Palmetto Ridge — committed to Nebraska with a social media post Sunday evening. His pledge pushed the Husker 2021 recruiting class back to 14 known members after it dipped earlier in the day, when outside linebacker Will Schweitzer of Los Gatos, California, decommitted and flipped to Notre Dame.

Nebraska likes Grimes as a receiver, though he is considered an “athlete” by recruiting services for his versatility on both sides of the ball. He played inside and outside receiver as a junior and took a few snaps at quarterback. His defensive assignments included safety, cornerback and some outside linebacker.

“Every coach I’ve talked to, his football IQ is tremendous,” Palmetto Ridge defensive coordinator PJ Gibbs said. “He’s over a 4.0 GPA. He’s not going to have a real big learning curve going into college football.”

?Receiver is where most colleges project him coming after he caught 28 balls for 578 yards and five touchdowns while running 16 times for 62 yards last season. One of his finalists, Michigan, wanted him in the secondary. His other top contenders were Miami, Maryland and Kentucky as part of an impressive offer list that also included Wisconsin and Ohio State. ESPN considers him a four-star prospect, while Rivals and 247Sports gave him three.

Gibbs said the 6-foot-3 standout is up to nearly 220 pounds after a strong offseason. The extra muscle fits his game – the coach recalled countless moments last year when Grimes was double-teamed only to go up and corral the ball anyway. He has speed — clocking a 40-yard dash in the 4.6-second range — and long-stride explosiveness developed through competition in basketball and track.

“This will be my 21st year of coaching, and he’s definitely one of the best route runners I’ve ever seen as far as his attention to detail and understanding what he needs to do to get open,” Gibbs said. “He’s just a physical presence.”

Grimes accepted an invitation Friday to the All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 9. He has already logged 26 games of varsity experience heading into his senior season. His career stats include 40 carries for 195 yards and two scores along with 68 grabs for 1,152 and eight touchdowns.

Nebraska offered Grimes in late March and adds him to a growing collection of rangy playmakers. Its two other receivers also stand 6-3 in Latrell Neville and Shawn Hardy along with 6-foot running back Gabe Ervin. Grimes never played receiver until his freshman year, mostly focusing on quarterback and safety.

Grimes is the second NU commit to come from Florida, joining Miami Northwestern outside linebacker Patrick Payton.

Coach Scott Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco ultimately won Grimes over, Gibbs said. Their up-tempo approach puts athletes in space and one-on-one situations to thrive, which the teen saw firsthand when the Husker staff was at Central Florida in 2016-17.

“I think with the offense that Coach Frost runs, and with Coach (Verduzco) as the quarterbacks coach, those guys do a great job, and I think it was one of the main things that kind of sold him,” Gibbs said. “I know they’ll do a great job taking care of him when he gets there.”

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