Redskins' Children Populate Hokies-Cavaliers Rivalry
Friday, November 28, 2008
A few weeks ago, former Washington Redskin Don Warren called his old teammate Russ Grimm with a revelation. Their sons share Virginia Tech's defensive huddle, where Cody Grimm is apt to crack one-liners to Brett Warren after a big hit. Don observed the fun the two were having and it reminded him of sharing the Redskins' offensive huddle with Russ in the 1980s and early 1990s.
During their Redskins years, Warren and Grimm brought their sons to Redskins Park, as did Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green. Tomorrow, those children will be reunited in Blacksburg, Va., when Virginia Tech (7-4) hosts Virginia (5-6).
"The kids grew up together, were at all our games, things like that," Russ Grimm said. "But you never dreamed that some of them would go to the same school and would actually play together. It's nice to see. I know they're having a good time doing it."
Linebackers Cody Grimm and Brett Warren will play significant roles for the Hokies; Beau Warren, a sophomore, is the second-string center. Jared Green is a second-string wide receiver for the Cavaliers.
The Grimm and Warren families are longtime friends, taking vacations together through the years. However, Warren's sons attended Centreville High, while Cody Grimm went to Oakton, as did Jared Green.
Green, a freshman, and Grimm, a junior, communicate frequently via Facebook and spent time with each other during the summer. Green said their friendship is due in part to the similar way they were raised, which has also made Green fast friends with Art Monk's son, James, and Kurt Gouveia's son, Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, who plays for Virginia Tech but did not grow up with his father.
"We're closer than most because of the things our fathers went through," Jared Green said. "I think that really strengthens our relationship. We have that accountability. You can just trust that guy. You know his parents, you know his family. His dad was on the field with your dad. It's just that bond."
Attending colleges saturated with Redskins supporters, the sons cannot escape the connections. Although other students were toddlers when his father played, Cody Grimm said the passionate Redskins fans in Blacksburg recall his father.
Brett Warren, a senior, started hearing his father mentioned when he became a college prospect. For Jared Green, Darrell's August induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame only intensified comparisons -- especially after Jared delivered the introductory speech.
"It made things a little tough," Jared Green said. "It hit close to home because a lot of people knew. They associated my face with his face, and his words with my words. When I first got here, it wasn't bad. But after this summer, it really escalated."
Virginia Coach Al Groh recently was asked how Jared's speed compared to Darrell's. The former longtime NFL assistant responded with a chuckle. Groh insisted Darrell was the fastest player in football, so any comparison would be unfair.
"Every time that they say that, they're honoring your father," Jared Green said. "I think it would be selfish of me to say, 'Stop mentioning my dad,' because he's done so much. He's really the reason why I'm here. He instilled the things in me that got me my character, taught me how to be a man, just showed me how to live right, just to continue and press on and work hard, and keep God first. That's why I'm here, because of my father's teaching. It's cool. I'm sure one day people will stop saying it. Until then, I'm sure I'll be Darrell Green's son."