Tigers are well positioned

MARIETTA, Ga. - It's hard to miss Taj Griffin. Suitors from across the nation certainly haven't.

The tailback's eye-catching speed has earned him more than 20 scholarship offers and a FOX Sports and Scout four-star rating as a junior.

The McEachern (Ga.) High School product's most recent offer came from Oregon on Sept. 18. The Ducks immediately soared into Griffin's rough list of top schools, which currently includes Clemson, Oregon, Florida State, Florida and Ohio State.

"(The Oregon) offer is a great, great offer," Griffin told InsideTennessee. "I feel so blessed. It really is a dream offer. They told me I could be the next De'Anthony Thomas. I'm very happy to get that offer."

Griffin listed Tennessee as one of his top schools as recently as August. Things have changed.

Griffin, who claims to clock a 4.39 laser-timed 40-yard dash, says he continues to hear great things about Tennessee's coaching staff and facilities, but admits the Vols haven't been pursuing him strongly.

In fact, Griffin can't recall the last time a Tennessee coach visited or called.

"Not recently, sometimes whoever (Tennessee's) running back coach is will hit me up on Facebook and ask me how I'm doing," the 5-foot-9, 170-pounder said. "I haven't heard from them real recently, no. I haven't spoke to Tennessee in, boy, a while. I can't even remember."

Griffin holds offers from seven SEC schools – including Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas. But playing in the powerhouse conference doesn't matter to Griffin. He wants to find a school where he feels "at home."

"I just want to feel at home somewhere," Griffin said. "What's going to matter to me is me and my parents deciding where I fit best. Education also matters, like which coaching staff is there and how they treat me."

Currently, Griffin feels most at home at Clemson.

Griffin said he has a great relationship with Tigers' running backs coach Tony Elliot.

"I would say Clemson is definitely recruiting me the hardest," Griffin said. "They check in on me all the time. They ask me about my games, tell me about their games and stuff like that."

Griffin visited Clemson when it hosted Georgia on Aug. 31.

Griffin has no other visits scheduled, but wants to make the long haul to Eugene, Ore.

"I have to get up (to Oregon) and check everything out," Griffin said. "I want to see all the facilities that everyone keeps talking about."

Griffin's junior season has been slowed by a nagging ankle injury. Griffin said getting healthy is his primary goal. After that, he can focus on the field.

"I just keep spraining (my ankle)," Griffin said. "I've sprained it three times in four weeks or something like that.

"First, get my ankle healthy. That comes first and is the first goal. But, I want to hit 1,000 yards. I'm well on my way. I just want to be a top rusher, you know? And maybe get the player of the year award."

Griffin said he currently carries a 3.0 GPA.

InsideTennessee was on hand to witness Griffin's Indians down Marietta (Ga.) High School, 43-30. Griffin was pulled during the first quarter because of his ankle problems.

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