Courtesy Grimble family
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
Jalen Grimble was impressed.
Walking the sidelines Saturday at Nebraska's spring football game, the Bishop Gorman High senior-to-be defensive lineman couldn't help but notice the masses of fans dressed in Cornhusker red.
Nebraska's Memorial Stadium was packed with 77,936 fans, which made quite an impression on Grimble, one of the nation's most sought-after recruits for the class of 2011.
"The first thing that stood out was the amount of people who attended the spring game," Grimble said. "It's hard for most teams to get 77,000 at one game. ... They have had more than 300 consecutive sellouts, and a lot of schools can't sell out one game."
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Grimble, who has 20-plus scholarship offers and was an all-Sunset Region selection last fall in helping Gorman win the state title, originally planned on being patient with the process and deciding in late August.
Now, following a memorable weekend that included meeting Nebraska legend Ndamukong Suh, he said the decision could come in early May.
He will attend the May 1 spring game at USC, where his cousin, Gorman tight end Xavier Grimble, signed in February. USC is considered by several to be the favorite to land Jalen Grimble's services.
That possibly changed last weekend.
"(Nebraska) was big time, a real nice program," said Jerry Grimble, Jalen's father, who accompanied him on the trip. "He didn't want to go there at first because we can't visit them all. But he ended up really liking it."
Father and son have made similar trips to LSU, Oregon, UCLA, UNLV, USC and Utah — six of the 23 schools to offer a scholarship. Nebraska, however, made a lasting impression.
Grimble hasn't narrowed his choices down to a final five — a common process since recruits can take five official trips — but guaranteed Nebraska would make the cut. He plans on sitting down with his family after the USC spring game and is likely to decide then.
"Nebraska football is like a pro team for the people in that state," Grimble said. "People came from all over to watch the spring game. It was a great college atmosphere."
One of the highlights was talking with Suh, who was the 2009 Associated Press Player of the Year. They initially met two weeks earlier when Suh, who was in Las Vegas for vacation, visited the Gorman team during one its spring workouts.
"He remembered me right away," Grimble said.
Grimble also toured the team's training facilities, visited with academic personnel and talked defensive strategy with Nebraska coach Bo Pelini.
"They surround their program with defense first," Jalen Grimble said. "(Pelini) is mainly a defensive-minded coach. I got to talk with him about his schemes and how I would fit in."