Recruiting Update: James Griffin
by Chris Horne, 11/21/02

Decision Time Coming Soon for Griffin

DB/LB prospect James Griffin of Pasadena City College (CA) is having a fantastic season, leading Pasadena to an 8-1 record and a #4 national ranking. A win this weekend would earn Pasadena a chance to compete for the Southern California conference championship, a title they won last season.

The 6-2, 195 pound Griffin has 40 quarterback hurries and eight sacks from his linebacker position on the year. Griffin has the size and speed of a defensive back, but he's tough enough to play linebacker. His stature and ability is comparable to that of Roy Williams, the Oklahoma standout who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. Williams also happens to be Griffinís favorite player.

"I want to be a difference maker, kind of like Roy Williams," said Griffin. "He is kind of like my role model as a football player. He was never big, but he makes plays."

Griffin's excellent production and awesome talent have him being recruited by virtually every top school in the nation. Decision time is coming soon for Griffin, as he plans to graduate in December and transfer to his school of choice in January. Right now, his decision looks to be down to three schools.

"Oregon, Virginia Tech, and Washington are my top three," said Griffin, who has taken official visits to all three. "Actually, I have a decision, but Iím thinking. I might go on the other two visits, but at the same time I need to get my paperwork in. Right now, no, I probably wonít take the other two visits, but I donít know. Iíll think about it."

Griffin wouldnít say who his decision might be, although Oregon and Virginia Tech seemed to be the top two on his list. Both schools have positive aspects of them that appeal to Griffin, which is making his decision very tough.

"Oregon is at the top of my list, but Virginia Tech is right there," said Griffin. "When Virginia Tech signed Jim (DT Jimmy Williams), I was like, I want to go there. But now there are other schools. The Oregon linebacker coach is a good person, and I could see myself playing for him. Coach Beamer is a good coach also though."

Griffin and Williams are very good friends who still talk all the time. According to Griffin, Williams is having an excellent time at Virginia Tech despite an injury riddled season. Although Williams would like his former teammate to join him in Blacksburg, he is not putting any pressure on the situation.

"Jim loves it [in Blacksburg]," said Griffin. "Next year he will be better. This year, he has had some injuries, but next year everyone will see how good he is.

"We talk all the time. He tells me that itís my decision, and that I need to make the right decision for me."

The deciding factor for Griffin may be where he thinks he will be able to make the most noise in terms of NFL exposure. Making the NFL is Griffinís primary goal, so he wants to go to a school that suits that opportunity. He feels both schools offer him the chance to showcase his skills.

"I know me, and I know what I can do," said Griffin. "I want to make it to the league, thatís it. At Oregon, I love the scheme, and I love playing against passing teams, and the PAC Ten is a passing conference. Oregon runs what we run. I would play linebacker and blitz a lot, like I do here.

"Virginia Tech wants me to come in and play the rover spot. I fit that spot so well. It suits all of my talents. Coach Beamer says they are recruiting only me to play Rover."

The signing period begins on December 18 for junior college transfers. Itís anyoneís guess as to who Griffin may be leaning to, although it looks like the decision will come down to the Hokies and the Ducks. Griffin may make his decision as early as next week, so stay tuned.

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