Junior running back Jonathan Grimes and junior linebacker Jake Trantin have been selected as All-Americans by The Sports Network, it was announced on Monday. Grimes was chosen to the second team, while Trantin garnered third-team distinction.
One of the nation’s top-20 players named to the 2010 Walter Payton Award Watch List earlier this month, Grimes has established himself as one of the country’s elite running backs during the past two seasons. He enters the fall ranked 10th on the Tribe’s career rushing list with 2,223 yards, and is just outside the program’s all-time top 10 with 16 rushing touchdowns.
Grimes earned first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association honors last season after leading the league with 1,294 rushing yards – a figure that ranks third on W&M’s single-season list – and setting a single-season school record with 2,043 all-purpose yards.
Additionally, he ranked second in the CAA and 13th nationally with 145.9 all-purpose yards per game while finding the end zone 10 times (nine rushing, one receiving). He became the fastest player in school history to rush for 1,000 career yards, as he reached the milestone in just 13 games (coming in the Week 2 win against Central Connecticut State). In addition to leading the Tribe’s ground attack, Grimes also distinguished himself on special teams and earned third-team All-CAA honors as a kick returner.
A starter during each of the past two seasons, Trantin will enter the fall as a team captain and one of the country’s top defensive players. A second-team all-conference linebacker in 2009, he led the team with 90 tackles while adding 2.5 sacks, 10.0 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three pass breakups. One of his best efforts last year came in the season-opening 26-14 victory at Virginia when he totaled 11 tackles, a sack, two tackles for losses, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
W&M, which recently garnered a preseason ranking of No. 1 in Phil Steele’s College Football Preview, will kick off the 2010 season when it plays at Massachusetts on Sept. 4. The contest, which will carried live by Comcast Network Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia as well as Comcast SportsNet New England, will be one of the Tribe’s five regular-season games scheduled to be televised. Season tickets are on sale now.