JUCO LB "so-so" on planned visit to LSU

Earlier this summer, running back Brandon Jacobs (6-4, 235, 4.5) of Coffeyville Community College and linebacker James Griffin (6-2, 205, 4.48) of Pasadena Community College both said they were going to sign with LSU on signing day.<br><br>Since then, though, times have changed.

Jacobs' reason for de-committing is he wants to go to Nebraska, mainly because he thinks the Cornhuskers will feature him more in their offensive backfield. Nebraska has not offered Jacobs a scholarship to date.


Griffin, on the other hand, backed off his commitment because he wanted to make sure LSU was the place for him to showcase his talent. He is one of the top JUCO linebackers in the country and he tentatively scheduled an official visit with the Tigers the week after they return home from their road trip to Gainesville, Fla.


"I am supposed to be making a visit to LSU but right now I'm day-to-day with everything," Griffin said. "I have not made a decision on where I'm going to take my third visit but it's still set for Oct. 19 to go watch LSU play South Carolina. But right now I'm kind of so-so on everything."


Griffin, who is also considering Florida State, Oregon and Arizona, signed with Alabama out of East High School in Memphis after he was named the Tennessee Player of the Year in 2000 for his incredible 29 quarterback sacks. After failing to meet the academic requirements he needed, Griffin decided to go the junior college route and ended up at Pasadena CC.


It did not take him long to adjust to his new setting as he earned honorable mention All-America honors, along with nailing down his conference's freshman MVP award. He has already made two of his official visits, with one going to the Washington Huskies and the other one to Virginia Tech when the Hokies defeated the Tigers 26-8.


"I enjoyed myself," Griffin said of his visit to Blacksburg, Va. "I got to meet Michael Vick and my best friend goes there too. That is the big thing Virginia Tech has going because I've been friends with him since high school and we played junior college ball together."


Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer and the aggressive nature of the Hokies' defense made a lasting impression on Griffin but some are wondering if the outcome of the game may have hurt LSU's chances.


"The coaching staff was real cool and I like their style of defense," he said. "Their defense brings a lot of pressure and I'm the kind of player that likes to bring a lot of pressure. I like to bring the noise. I like to be around the football and make plays. I'm a true playmaker."


LSU may have a slight advantage because coach Nick Saban is very familiar with Griffin since he recruited him out of high school and defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison was successful at signing Griffin when he coached at Alabama.


"I like coach Saban a lot," Griffin said. "He recruited me out of high school to go to Michigan State and we've always kept in touch. Then the defensive backs coach recruited me to go to Alabama, so we have a lot of chemistry going.


Another tie Griffin likes connected to Saban and the LSU program is his connection with the NFL and his ability to put players in the pro ranks.


"He coached in the NFL and he is getting guys there," Griffin said. "He really does a lot for his players. He tried to tell Trev Faulk not to leave and now Bradie James has gotten so much bigger and better. Bradie motivates me a lot because last year he was 225-pounds and now he is up to 245. That lets me know LSU has a good strength program and if he can do that then I can."


Griffin does not want to get that heavy because he feels like a huge part of his repertoire is his ability to be versatile and aggressive on the field. He models his game after former Oklahoma safety Roy Williams, who won the Jim Thorpe Award last year and was a first round draft pick in the NFL draft.

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