It's official: Les Miles and the LSU Tigers have found their next offensive line coach and running game coordinator.
Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post reported last week that Jeff Grimes would leave Virginia Tech for LSU, and the Tigers finally made it official Tuesday evening. Sports information director Michael Bonnette released Miles' announcement on LSUSports.net.
Miles made a statement on the addition of Grimes, who was on staff under Gene Chizik at Auburn when the Tigers won the 2010 national championship:
Jeff comes to our staff with great experience and as coach who is very familiar with the SEC. He helped Auburn win a national title in 2010 and has been part of some very successful programs.
He’s a tremendous technician and will do a great job teaching our offensive line. He has a track record of putting guys in the NFL and producing outstanding offensive linemen. He’s a great addition to the staff and I’m looking forward to working with him for many years.
Grimes spent just one season at Virginia Tech, helping to lead the Hokies through a up-and-down 8-5 season that ended with a 42-12 Sun Bowl loss to UCLA.
He'll replace Greg Studrawa in Baton Rouge, who parted ways with the program in early January.
Rate LSU's hiring of Jeff Grimes:
In Grimes' one season in Blacksburg, VT finished 13th in the ACC in total and rushing offense, though the Hokies were limited by minimal depth up front. At LSU, that shouldn't be as much of an issue for Grimes, as the Tigers will return four starters up front, including All-SEC tackle La'el Collins.
Before joining Frank Beamer's staff at Virginia Tech, Grimes spent three seasons at Auburn. The best year of his tenure was in 2010, when the Tigers won SEC and national titles, setting several school offensive records along the way.
He was previously an offensive line coach at Boise State, Arizona State, Brigham Young and Colorado.
LSU will face some heavy offensive turnover next year with running back Jeremy Hill, quarterback Zach Mettenberger and receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. among several key contributors departing. The offensive line will have to replace All-SEC guard Trai Turner.
However, the Tigers, as always, will bring in a talented recruiting class, headlined by the No. 1 overall player in the 247Sports composite rankings, 5-star running back Leonard Fournette.
Grimes' group will be welcoming two 4-star guards, Garrett Brumfield and Will Clapp. LSU could add a touted tackle as well. Composite 3-star Derrick Kelly Jr. is expected to decide between the Tigers and Florida State.
If Grimes can make an impact on the recruiting trail early, he'll quickly fall into the favor of Tigers fans.
The SEC will be up for grabs and as competitive as ever next year, so Grimes' acclimation to the staff could be the difference between conference title contention and a third straight three-loss season.