When Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne five-star prospect Tony Grimes released his list of top programs back in September 13 teams made the cut with Florida nowhere to be found. However, the nation’s No. 1 overall cornerback hinted at the possibility of some positive news regarding the Gators in an exclusive interview with Inside the Gators.
“Florida may or may not come back in depending on me and Torrian Gray’s conversations and how they do,” Grimes said.
Gray, who played for Virginia Tech and then coached the Hokies defensive backs from 2006-2015, still targets the D.C., Maryland, Virginia tri-state area for top cornerback prospects.
It seems like Grimes was paying attention to the Gators – and Gray – this past season, as he had some pretty high praise for what’s going on in Gainesville.
“Florida’s defense is awesome,” he said. “Their DBs are awesome.”
In recruiting, which is chock-full of “package deals” and friends playing an integral role in getting players to commit to certain programs, Gray’s success in Gainesville is not the only factor playing into Grimes’ possible decision to give the team a closer look.
“[Florida] just picked up one of my boys from St. Frances, so that put a big smile on my face,” Grimes said.
That boy from Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy, of course, is the top-rated commit in Florida’s 2021 class, Clinton Burton Jr.
Burton, Jr., who has been committed to the Gators for nearly four months, has conveyed this message to his friend:
“Come join! You know what I mean? I mean, it’s gonna be a lot of DBs who will wanna join us over time, but me and Tony are on the same side,” said Burton Jr. “I don’t care if I’m at safety or he’s at safety or I’m at corner, he at corner. Tony a dog, so I need Tony on my team for sure.”
Right now, Grimes’ top 13 consists of LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Maryland, Penn State, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
He has official visits planned to Clemson, Penn State and Texas A&M as well as unofficial visits to Alabama and Georgia.
If Florida is to make a move, the Gators need to get Grimes on campus. However, regardless of whether the Gators make some inroads with the 10th ranked prospect in the 2021 class according to the 247 Sports Composite, Grimes is confident Coach Gray is on his side.
“Wherever I go, he’s gonna support me no matter what.”