After a trio of legal issues over the past 15 months, Kevin Grooms was summarily dismissed by Marshall in late July. A couple of weeks later, the running back has found a new home.
In a press release, Liberty announced that Grooms has enrolled at the school and will be a member of the Flames football team. Despite the fact that Liberty plays at the FCS level, Grooms won’t be eligible to play immediately in 2014. He will have one year of eligibility remaining beginning in 2015.
Below is a statement attributed to head coach Turner Gill.
“Kevin sought out our football program because he is at a point in his life where he wants to make some positive changes. He believes Liberty University would provide the type of atmosphere that would allow him to be successful in this endeavor. He understands that he will be expected to grow academically, athletically, socially and spiritually. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with Kevin and be a part of his growth and maturity.
“While Kevin has enjoyed success both academically and athletically at Marshall, the thing that made Kevin attractive to us is the fact that he has had some adversity and he wants to make changes in his life. Liberty University is a place that has always offered young people a second change and we are excited to be a part of that process in Kevin’s life.”
Most of the adversity to which Gill refers was of the player’s own doing.
His departure from the Herd came a few hours after Grooms was arrested on a felony burglary charge as well as misdemeanors of domestic assault, petit larceny and fleeing on foot.
The arrest was Grooms’ third in a little over 15 months. In late April of last year, the back was charged with underage consumption of alcohol and obstruction. Seven months later, he was suspended indefinitely after he was arrested and charged with domestic battery and obstruction.
Head coach Doc Holliday reinstated Grooms before the start of spring practice, with the player exiting the 15 sessions as the clear starter at the position.
After redshirting as a true freshman — he was a three-star member of the Herd’s 2011 recruiting class coming out of high school in Hollywood, Fla. — Grooms led Marshall in 2012 with 737 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He was named Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year following that season.
Despite not playing the in the last three games last season due to a combination of injuries and his suspension, Grooms finished third on the team with 503 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns.