In only his seventh game as a starter for Texas A&M, former Brownwood Lion Lee Grimes is proving his versatility on the football field. Grimes, a junior, started at his third different position on the offensive line last week when the Aggies played host to Texas Tech.
Grimes started the season at right guard before moving to left tackle for the Kansas State game. Against Tech he started at right tackle. It’s a good thing that he says he’s comfortable playing any position on the line.
“Blocking schemes are blocking schemes. I think I’ve got a great handle on the positions, a good grasp of the offense,” Grimes said.
He added that he thought he’d be comfortable playing about any offensive position other than receiver. An article that published this summer in Bryan’s newspaper, The Eagle, pointed out Grimes has an arm that many quarterbacks would be jealous of.
“Lee’s a freak. And the guy can also throw a football 60 or 70 yards,” teammate Travis Schneider said in that newspaper’s story.
Brownwood High School head football coach and athletic director Steve Freeman said that even when he played here, Grimes was a versatile player.
“We lined him up at quarterback for a play in a playoff game,” Freeman said. “Some of the most intelligent people on the field are the people up front. They’re facing diverse schemes, multiple schemes during a game. Schemes are schemes, but they happen real fast.”
Grimes is happy to be playing - at whatever position that may be in a given week.
“It feels great. Starting for any D-I program is a big accomplishment. Especially for Texas A&M,” he said.
Over the summer Grimes worked on getting his playing weight to 315 pounds, down from 335 last spring.
“My summer focus was basically me getting in shape to hit my goal weight of 315 and not lose any strength. That better conditioning has really helped me going into the fourth quarter. I’m a lot stronger,” he said.
Freeman said that he was able to watch Grimes grow into a leadership role in the locker room and weight room.
“He was a big kid early on, but then he found there were other big kids. Early on he learned the importance of the strength program,” he said.
Last season Grimes played in seven games on the offensive line and according to his team biography, “provided key depth down the stretch for the offensive front.” With a relatively inexperienced line this season, Grimes was expected to be one of the leaders of the group, which he says is getting better with each game.
“Every week we see improvement. We see improvement when we watch the film. You can see improvement on the scoreboard. That keeps us going,” he said.
Although the improvement may be there, the Aggies have struggled to a 2-5 record this season. Grimes said the fan support hasn’t waivered, though. That was evident during last week’s game against the Red Raiders, he said.
“Texas Tech coming into our home field, we want to perform, at home, with all our fans there. You try to treat it as another game, but Texas Tech is an in-state rival and Big 12 rival. The level of getting prepared is higher than most other weeks,” Grimes said. “Some players, you can see them get energized in a setting like that. For myself, I can feed off it a little bit, but I’m basically a calm and relaxed player so I don’t get too hyped up. For me personally, it’s exciting, but I like to keep a level head.”
Grimes said he’s played in several games where the atmosphere created a very special experience.
“At Nebraska, seeing the sea of red,” he said. “Last year at Miami at the Orange Bowl was very loud.”
After that Miami game, Grimes said he was able to meet up with former Brownwood teammate Kirby Freeman, who was then playing for Miami.
“Kirby and I met on the field after the game and talked and then we went to our own field houses,” he said.
Grimes said the Hurricanes’ visit to College Station has been his most memorable game so far this season.
“I was the captain for that game and got to come out early for that. Seeing how our stadium was packed and loud - it was definitely the best game this season,” he said. However the Aggies lost to Miami 41-23.
Grimes said he hopes that the team is able to finish the season on a high note and then he can begin preparing for next season.
“My goal for the team is to win out the rest of this season. For me personally, it’s to do as well as I can at whatever position I’m playing,” he said.
As for next year, “I want it to be a great year, to win a national championship, maintain my weight and get more muscle.”
Grimes is on track to graduate in May with a degree in agricultural development with a minor in business. He plans to attend graduate school during his final year of college football.