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UPDATE: Former Lafayette Jefferson star quarterback Maximus Grimes transfers to Valparaiso
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Prep football

UPDATE: Former Lafayette Jefferson star quarterback Maximus Grimes transfers to Valparaiso

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Lafayette Jefferson/Merrillville, football (transfer)

Former Lafayette Jefferson star Maximus Grimes, left, has transferred to Valparaiso.

Valparaiso is in search of a new starting quarterback for the first time in two years, and the Vikings just received a big reinforcement.

Former Lafayette Jefferson star Maximus Grimes has transferred to Valparaiso for the final season of his prep career.

He confirmed the news Thursday and explained that the move was family related. Grimes' father got married last summer on July 4, and his stepmother — who lives in Valparaiso — gave birth to identical twin girls a few months ago. To make things easier logistically, Grimes and his dad will join the rest of their family in the Region.

"Those have been my guys since I was young," Grimes said of leaving his former teammates in Lafayette. "But at the same time, I'm excited for a new experience."

Vikings coach Bill Marshall corroborated the transfer and added that Grimes is eligible to compete. The IHSAA plans to resume school sponsored athletic activities on July 1.

"He is in fact enrolled at Valparaiso High School and has had his athletic transfer cleared by the IHSAA," Marshall wrote in a text message to The Times.

After a runner-up finish in the Class 5A state final last season and losing two-year starting quarterback CJ Opperman to graduation, Grimes should receive heavy consideration as the Vikings' new leader under center. During his junior campaign in the fall, Grimes commanded one of the most high-powered offenses in the state.

The Bronchos averaged 52 points per game and scored over 60 points on three occasions. Grimes led the way through the air with 235.8 passing yards per game, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for 139 yards and three scores.

As a sophomore in 2018, Grimes was even more potent. He averaged 314 passing yards per game and threw a program-record 49 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Grimes picked up 174 yards and two more scores on the ground.

Beyond his gaudy stats, he believes his intangibles are what will allow him to have a successful senior season at Valparaiso.

"I think that I can bring passion and competitiveness just by being somebody who loves to play the game," said Grimes, who stands 6 foot 2 and weighs 200 pounds. "Whether it's in practice, a scrimmage or the state championship game, I want to win."

According to 247Sports, Grimes is a pro-style quarterback with interest from Indiana, Miami (Ohio) and Purdue. He announced via Twitter on May 15 that he received a scholarship offer from Valparaiso University.

Last year, Grimes led Lafayette Jefferson to a 9-1 record. The Bronchos were undefeated heading into the playoffs but had their season ended in a 27-20 loss to Merrillville in a Class 6A sectional semifinal on Nov. 1.

Walton wreaks havoc, leads No. 2 Merrillville past formerly unbeaten Lafayette Jeff

Grimes played against the Pirates with a torn right ACL, which he initially ruptured against Anderson on Sept. 27. He still completed nine passes for 75 yards in the first half. But on a Hail Mary attempt in the closing seconds of the second quarter, Grimes' right knee finally gave out.

He did not return to the contest and underwent surgery a few days before Thanksgiving. Grimes said his right knee is about "90-95%" healthy, and he expects to be at full strength for the Vikings' season opener against Penn on Aug. 21.

In the meantime, Grimes has remained in contact with Marshall and recently met up with his new receivers for a couple of throwing sessions.

"Obviously, everybody wants to win a state championship. That's the only thing that matters," Grimes said. "Anything less than that would be a loss in my book."

Gallery: 6A football sectional semifinal: Merrillville vs. Lafayette Jefferson

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Lake County Sports Reporter

James Boyd is the Lake County prep sports reporter for The Times. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a proud native of Romeoville, Illinois. Before anything else, his main goal in life is to spread love and light.

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