January 11, 2012

Griffin's visits puts Army in the lead

Garrett Griffin returned home from West Point last weekend with Army the leader for his commitment.

"They're going to be tough to beat," said the three-sport athlete from Louisburg (Kan.) Louisburg High School.

But don't expect a quick decision from Griffin. He says he might take all his time right up to the Feb. 1st national letter-of-intent day despite his positive impressions of the Army football program and West Point.

Griffin isn't an impulse buyer. He previously made a trip to Division II Pittsburg State and plans three more visits to the Big 12's Kansas State, the Mountain West's Air Force and Division II Northwest Missouri State before reaching his decision.

"Im going to take my other visits, and then I'll talk with my parents, my close friends and coaches and put everything together," Griffin said. "I want to see how Army compares to other schools. I have to experience other schools before I make a decision."

Griffin's deliberate nature is one reason he enjoyed his trip to Army. It didn't go unnoticed to him how much Army head coach Rich Ellerson discussed academics, admissions, West Point and a military future in addition to football.

"We talked about their whole message at Army," Griffin said. "We talked about that more than football. That was impressive to me. Football is a big part of it, but there is a bigger picture to everything."

Griffin is 6-4, 210-pound outside linebacker at Louisburg, but Army sees versatility in him as an outside linebacker or a standup defensive end ... hence, a hybrid role in the same manner of the Black Knights' all-time sack leader, Josh McNary.

He has the frame to put on weight and believes he can do so once he focuses on football and weight training. He also plays basketball and competes in track, which keeps him on the move.

"I know I can put on weight," Griffin said with a laugh. "I put on 10 pounds just during a three-day Christmas break."

But it wasn't just the use he can make of the Army weight room and football facilities that caught his attention.

"The athletics side is great, but the academics are great and the campus is beautiful," he said. "There is so much history there and there have been so many successful people. There have been presidents and great generals."

Griffin said he also got a good feel for the team chemistry from his host, starting safety Thomas Holloway, and other players he met.

"The guys were great," Griffin said. "Everybody there and what they stand for was impressive. Everything they do is about about leadership and a greater purpose than themselves. It's not all about just sports. It's about a bigger picture. That was impressive to me."

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