Posted: 8:00 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2013
Ed. Note -- Welcome back to "Joey got his flight delayed (and spent the extra time in an airport bar) before writing a couple of articles on a plane". You may remember that our most recent installment of this saga was in our preview articles for the Sun Bowl. However, it should be noted that while the next few "Meet the Freshmen" articles will be written as I'm influenced by my boredom/drinking, I've had nowhere near as much to drink this time, and should be far more coherent in my writing. I suppose time will tell. But anyways, on to the young ones.
In mid-June, Chris Griffin became Georgia Tech's 6th commitment for its 2013 class. If I recall correctly, until his commitment, Griffin had flown largely under the radar -- just another in a line of Tech commitments who got significantly more attention after committing than they had previously. However, by late fall, Griffin was getting a lot of attention from other schools (he had offers from schools such as Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi St, South Florida, and Vanderbilt) and was considered a solid offensive line prospect. It turns out that he won a few major South Florida tournaments in wrestling -- always encouraging to see from a guy whose entire job is to use his body to move others around at will. As it turned out, Griffin ended up signing with Tech, although he was being pressured by other schools to flip right up until the evening before Signing Day (he was neither the first nor the last to experience such pressure). In any case, Griffin signed with Georgia Tech, and is one of a few members of this class who was likely an underrated prospect.
Griffin is listed on Rivals as standing 6'6", and weighing in at 265 lbs, although I suspect that those numbers are much closer to wrestling season than football season. In other words, I expect Griffin to play at a minimum of 290 lbs -- easy to accomplish when you're on a college S&C; program and not cross-training for wrestling. In the trenches, Griffin is downright mean. The kid can do it all, and with his height is a specialist when it comes to pass blocking. In all honesty I think that given a few more pounds, he can be comparable to Shamire Devine, meaning the two can be a real tandem on our offensive line for both pass protection and run blocking.
Besides his listed weight being somewhat low, Griffin will have to work hard at learning to control his body. Some of Tech's best offensive linemen under Coach Johnson (Omoregie Uzzi, Jay Finch, Sean Bedford) have been at least 3 inches shorter, which is pretty nice considering that the main strategy in blocking for the option is to undercut your man with a cut block. The taller a lineman gets, the more weight he'll have out from under his feet when getting his shoulders low, meaning the tougher it is to effectively cut block in the style that our offense tends to enjoy.
Overall, I'm extremely excited to have Chris Griffin at Tech, and think that he and Devine can be a really nasty duo for the Jackets over their careers.
Do you see Griffin making it onto the field this fall, or will he redshirt? Do you consider him underrated, or is three stars an appropriate assessment?