Why Eagles rookie WR Trevon Grimes will be this year's training camp darling

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Why Grimes will be this year's Eagles training camp darling originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

You can already tell Trevon Grimes will be cast in the role of Eagles training camp darling.

He’s got all the characteristics.

He’s a skill player, he went undrafted, he’s got a great personality and he had a good enough college career playing at the highest level that he’s almost a lock to shine once the Eagles hit training camp this summer.

Some training camp stars have gone on to productive NFL careers. Hank Baskett, Brandon Gibson, DeAndre Carter.

Some were quickly forgotten. Henry Josey, Marvin McNutt, Michael Gasperson.

A couple became coaches. Chad Hall and G.J. Kinne.

Where Grimes fits in remains to be seen, but he’s an intriguing player any way you look at it.

Grimes began his college career at Ohio State, where he sat the bench with Joe Burrow watching Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell catch passes from J.T. Barrett.

Then he transferred to Florida, where he was often in the shadow of NFL-bound receivers Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Van Jefferson.

In a recent interview, Grimes explained how playing behind so many exceptional players shaped him as a player.

His answer goes a long way into understanding what kind of player and what kind of person Grimes is.

“It helped me a lot in a very good way,” he said. “Being able to play with such high-[caliber] players has taught me maturity and the mental game. Being able to go out there knowing you’re playing with two first-rounders, knowing you may not get the ball but you’ve got to make your name, make your presence felt on the field elsewhere. 

“So it’s taught me a lot to be able to learn how to deal with not getting the ball every play and still having to make a name for yourself on the field. And I feel like that will translate well to the NFL because playing here we have DeVonta Smith, (Jalen) Reagor, all those receivers, but there’s only one ball. So how will you make your name felt on the field without the ball? And that’s something I feel like I know how to do very well.”

With Toney catching 70 passes for 984 yards and 10 touchdowns for Florida this past year and Pitts doing his thing, with 43 for 770 and 12 TDs, it was easy for Grimes to go unnoticed.

But he still found a way to catch 38 passes for 589 yards with nine touchdowns for the Gators this past season and finished his college career with 100 catches, nearly 1,500 yards and 14 TDs.

Even though his numbers don’t jump off the page, Grimes looks at playing alongside such talented people as a plus. Especially Pitts, the fourth player taken in this year’s draft.

“Playing with Kyle Pitts was great,” he said. “He helped me a lot with route running and being such a big receiver, he’s a big tight end, and we both worked on coming out of breaks, high pointing the ball, attacking the ball in the air, using your body to block out DBs.”

Grimes said one of the biggest reasons he signed with the Eagles after going undrafted was the presence of new quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who was at Florida with Grimes the last three years, the first two as QBs coach and last year as offensive coordinator as well.

“Being at Florida with Coach Johnson was an amazing experience,” he said. “We talked daily at Florida and the relationship hasn’t changed since I’ve been here. Me and him are very tight, and that bond was a factor in wanting to come here.

“Post-draft, me and him talked and [decided] coming here was the best fit to me. New coaching staff, new players. Overall, I feel like it was a great decision and I’m excited to be an Eagle.” 

The big question is where he fits in on a team that all of a sudden has a large group of promising young wide receivers trying to prove themselves.

Smith and Reagor are roster locks, Greg Ward is the only WR on the roster with more than a year of NFL experience, Travis Fulgham, Quez Watkins and John Hightower each had their moments last year, and former second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is here as well.

Grimes said he’s not worrying about any of that right now. He’s just looking forward to training camp and showing what kind of player he is.

“Everything always happens for a reason,” he said. “I feel like [going undrafted] happened for a reason. But I’m here now, I’m an Eagle, I’m excited to be here and I can make my own path now.”

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