TAMPA — The tough odds Cody Grimm will have to overcome to make the Bucs' roster as one of Saturday's seventh-round picks are nothing new to the former Virginia Tech walk-on.
"I'm obviously used to overcoming odds," said Grimm, a projected safety who had one football scholarship offer — from I-AA William & Mary — but turned himself into a starter and first-team all-ACC outside linebacker for the Hokies.
"When I play football, regardless of who we're playing, every time I come out of the tunnel, I'm ready to play. I'm not scared of anyone."
Grimm, 5 feet 11, 210 pounds, is the son of former Redskins guard and current Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in August. His brother, Chad, who also played at Virginia Tech, is an offensive quality control coach for the Cardinals.
The Bucs play at Arizona on Oct. 31, giving a chance for son to go up against father and older brother as a rookie.
"They were talking about drafting me, but the bottom line is that they didn't," Grimm said. "So if I get to play against them, obviously, I want to stick it to them."
Grimm has a penchant for forcing fumbles. He tied an NCAA record by forcing three against N.C. State on Nov. 21 and forced seven during his senior season. Bucs coach Raheem Morris said he liked the enthusiasm he heard in Grimm's voice when he called to let him know he had been drafted.
"He certainly has the athleticism, certainly has the toughness and certainly has the pedigree," Morris said. "We're really fired up to get him."
Virginia Tech is respected nationally for its commitment to special teams. And for Grimm to make the Bucs, he likely will have to make an impact there as he did with the Hokies.
"At Virginia Tech, it's different from every other college because we actually take honor in playing on our special teams," said Grimm, who also had scholarship offers in lacrosse coming out of high school in Virginia.
"At Virginia Tech, guys like (Seahawks fifth-round pick) Cam Chancellor and me, we enjoy playing special teams. I was in special teams meetings all the time, and I like playing them.
"I hope that gives me an advantage in the NFL."
Greg Auman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and at (813) 226-3346.