1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Gators

Florida Gators’ Trevon Grimes trying to build off record-setting spring game

“He’s always had the ability. Now he’s just bringing it out.”
Florida Gators wide receiver Trevon Grimes (8) catches the ball near the end zone in the third quarter in a game against LSU at Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Saturday, October 6, 2018. (BRONTE WITTPENN | Times)
Published Apr. 15

GAINESVILLE — Receiver Trevon Grimes’ career at Florida couldn’t have started much better.

The Ohio State transfer wasn’t even touched on his first catch, which he took 34 yards for the Gators’ first touchdown of the season in the blowout of Charleston Southern. It looked like a sign of big plays to come for the former four-star recruit from Fort Lauderdale powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas.

But that promise never materialized. He scored only one touchdown in the rest of the season.

Grimes never worried.

“I knew my time would come,” Grimes said.

If Saturday was any indication, it looks like his time is finally here.

Grimes’ 195 receiving yards broke UF’s spring game record; two of his four catches went for touchdowns, and a third took him down to the 1.

RELATED: Five thoughts from Florida Gators’ Orange and Blue spring game

“He went crazy,” receiver Freddie Swain said. “You can tell that during spring practice he finally understands what he is doing and why he is doing it. It shows that he has tremendous ability to be a great athlete.”

His ability wasn’t in question when he was looking to leave Ohio State to get closer to home after the 2017 season.

Receivers who are 6-foot-5 and state champion hurdlers don’t come around very often. That’s why coach Dan Mullen pursued Grimes for an immediate injection of talent at a position group that needed more immediate contributors.

“To have that opportunity to get him, that was big for us,” Mullen said.

It just didn’t show up immediately in the stats; Grimes finished his sophomore year third on the team with 26 catches for 364 yards.

Grimes didn’t put up massive numbers in part because of how Mullen runs his offense. Rather than feed the ball to one receiver, his quarterbacks spread it around to many. Mullen has never had a 1,000-yard receiver as a head coach or assistant (although Utah’s Paris Warren topped that mark in 2004, when Mullen was the Utes’ quarterbacks coach).

Grimes was also vying for catches in one of the most talented receiving corps UF has had since the Tim Tebow era. Five of the Gators’ other top targets are also former blue-chip recruits; Kadarius Toney isn’t, but he has the potential to be one of the most electric players in the SEC.

But Grimes also might not have been ready for a big first season at UF. Physically, he dropped too many passes last spring. Mentally, he was adjusting to a new coaching staff and a new system, plus everything else that comes with transferring to a new school.

“I hold myself to a high expectation, so I really just had to get off a couple of mental barriers,” Grimes said.

Those transitional barriers started to disappear toward the end of the season. Grimes had five catches for 118 yards and a touchdown in the rout at Florida State.

That breakout game set him up for the strong spring that culminated with his record-setting performance over the weekend. Now the Gators hope what he built this spring shows up this fall.

“He’s always had the ability,” receiver Van Jefferson said. “Now he’s just bringing it out.”

Contact Matt Baker at Follow @MBakerTBTimes.


  1. Tennessee, left, lines up for a play against Florida during the first half Saturday in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The Calvary Christian alum impresses after missing the past two games by pouncing on a fumble and snagging an interception.
  2. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano, left, takes a hit from Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard after throwing a pass during the first half. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Where would this Gators defense be without Louisville transfer Jonathan Greenard?
  3. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, right, throws a pass over Tennessee defensive lineman Matthew Butler (94) during the first half. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    It didn’t look like Kyle Trask’s first start since he was a freshman in high school.
  4. A Florida Gators fan holds a sign supporting Feleipe Franks before Saturday's game against Tennessee. MATT BAKER  |  Matt Baker | Times
    Watch: Kyle Trask enters Ben Hill Griffin Stadium as the Florida Gators’ presumptive starting quarterback.
  5. In this Jan. 2, 2017, file photo, Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain looks at the action on the field in the first half against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. Times
    Coaches hired early in the 2017-18 carousel are 40-38. Coaches hired late: 39-52.
  6. Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask runs the ball in for a touchdown during the third quarter against Charleston Southern last season. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    If Kyle Trask gets the first snap, it will be his first start since he was a freshman in high school.
  7. Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) runs through a hole in the line during the first half against Louisville on Sept. 2. TIMOTHY D. EASLEY  |  AP
    More national college football: Jimbo Fisher, meanwhile, should be hyper focused on his quarterback, who hasn’t looked all that spiffy this season. Plus staff predictions.
  8. Tim Tebow. [Associated Press)] Associated Press
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones and Rick Stroud debate Tebow, Dickie V, the first-place Bucs and the Rays playoff chase
  9. Notre Dame defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner (55) celebrates a sack of Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during the second half of 2017 game. Georgia defeated Notre Dame 20-19. MICHAEL CONROY  |  AP
    Unlike last week, Saturday’s slate is loaded. Sit back and enjoy. Plus: Times staff predictions.
  10. The Bucs will get their first look at rookie Daniel Jones Sunday when he starts for the New York Giants in a 4:25 p.m. game against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. FRANK VICTORES  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Exploring quarterback changes for the New York Giants, Florida Gators and USF Bulls.