Four years ago, Jonathan Grimes sat in his New Jersey kitchen waiting for a phone call that would never come during the 2012 NFL Draft. Born and raised in Palmyra, Grimes recalls being with his family, not as surprised about being undrafted as he was about what would happen next.
"I was kind of getting the gist that I'd probably be undrafted so I was ready for that, but that day my phone started blowing up," Grimes said Tuesday on Texans Radio. "As soon as the draft was over, teams were calling because they wanted me to come out there. You go from wanting to be picked to alright, you've got to pick a team to go to and it was stressful."
It was a surreal experience, getting a barrage of phone calls from teams wanting to sign him as an undrafted free agent. Grimes did his homework, evaluating rosters and how he'd fit in, but ultimately, the decision came down to his gut feeling about the Texans.
"Houston seemed like the most patient with me," Grimes said. "Because a lot of teams were like, alright this is our offer, take it or leave it. We're going to the next guy. Houston was like, hey we're still waiting for you but we've got to move on if you don't make a decision."
To go from undrafted to his second contract isn't an accomplishment that Grimes takes lightly. He's had two keys to success during his NFL career: his mental preparation and staying healthy.
"All I needed was an opportunity," Grimes said. "If I got on the team, if I get in that meeting room, I'm going to know the plays, I'm going to be in shape."
Fast forward four years later.
Houston has chosen Grimes, re-signing the 25-year-old running back to his second contract with the team on March 18. Grimes, a free agent this offseason, admitted the few weeks before signing were stressful but the end result was worth it.
"It's always good to have a job and it's good to be in Houston," Grimes said. "I like Houston a lot so it's a win-win."
Grimes rushed for a career-high 282 yards and one touchdown on 56 carries (5.0 avg.) last season for the Texans. He also caught a career-high 26 passes for 173 yards (6.7 avg.) and a receiving touchdown in his 14 games played.
RB Jonathan Grimes' career as a Texan is chronicled here in photos.