Brandon HS LB/TE Ken Griffith

[Premium article] Gene's Page interviewed Ken Griffith, a linebacker/tight end who plays for Brandon (MS) High School. Ken was selected by The Clarion-Ledger as one of the top 50 juniors in the state of Mississippi. Ken, a Clarion-Ledger first-team selection as a junior, is not only considered one of the top recruits in Mississippi but the Southeast, and possibly nation, as well.

Here is what Ken's coach said about him: "(MSU) Coach Sherrill was down for one of our ballgames and told me that he didn't see a better linebacker all year," said Brandon head football coach Dan Davis. "(Ken) is probably one of the most athletic big men that will be in class 5A next year. He is similar to (Deljuan Robinson) at Hernando HS." [Deljuan was considered one of the top senior players in the nation this past season.-Gene].

On my webpage, I have your height, weight and forty speed listed as 6-3, 245, 4.8. Is that correct?
"Yes, that is correct."

I've got you listed on my page as playing two positions.
"I play tight end and linebacker."

What is your primary position?
"I mostly played linebacker last year, but this year I think it is going to be 50/50 because I'm the only tight end. I'm going to have to play both ways I think."

Do you think you have the stamina to play both ways?
"If I don't, I'm going to have to get it."

Most schools started spring practice today. Did you guys start today?
"No, we did ours early."

What are you doing now?
"We're lifting weights three days a week. I've gotten stronger since I've gotten into the off-season."

Speaking of lifting weights, what is your maximum bench press and squat?
"295 (on the bench) and 465 (on the squat)."

What do you think are your strengths as a football player? Since you play on both sides of the ball, talk about both offense and defense.
"On offense, my strength is my blocking ability. On defense - and I'm not trying to say that I'm the best tackler - I think that as far as knowing the opponents' plays and what they are going to run, that is my strength."

Just curious, since you read plays well from your linebacker position, have you played linebacker your entire football career, even going back as far as Pee Wee football?
"I played Pee Wee football once. During my 7th grade year, I got moved up to the 8th grade team. I played defensive end that year. I have played linebacker since the 8th grade."

What are aspects of your game that you feel need improvement?
"I think, overall, my footwork can get better than it already is."

Are you talking about technique or quickness?
"Quickness. From sideline to sideline, that's shut down, I've got that. What I'm talking about is chasing the long pass."

Do you know what your personal stats were last year?
"I caught 3 passes for 100 yards. I had 103 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception."

Do you have personal goals for next season? Basically, what I'm talking about are things you want to achieve on a personal level.
"Personally, I want to be player of the year and I want to be player of the week at least three times. I would also like to lead the team in tackles."

I talked to Trumaine McBride (Clarksdale HS junior) a couple of weeks ago. He mentioned one of his goals was to be a member of the Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen. Have you given that much thought as a goal of yours?
"No doubt. Last summer, I was talking to Coach Shivers and Coach Davis and I told them that was one of my personal goals."

What are your team goals for next season?
"I know we lost a lot of people, but, for the team, I want us to win a state championship. That would be the best thing in the world."

What honors have you earned during your high school career?
"My sophomore year, I earned 3-5A honorable-mentioned all-region. I earned co-MVP on defense after my junior year. I made (The Clarion-Ledger) all-state team at tight end after my junior year."

Didn't Tom Lemming, the ESPN and Prep Football Report recruiting analyst, select you for a pre-season honor?
"He called to tell me that Quinton Culberson (DB from Provine HS), Donovan Davis (OL from Callaway HS) and me were going to be (his choice as) the top three players in the state next year."

Did you attend any college football camps last summer?
"I didn't go to any camps. This will be my first summer to attend camps."

What camps do you plan on attending?
"I'm going to State's camp and Ole Miss' camp. I'm thinking about a few others."

What college football games did you attend last season?
"I attended four State games, the Ole Miss game when they played Georgia and two LSU games in Baton Rouge."

Did you get to meet any of the coaches at any of the schools when you went to their games?
"I met the entire coaching staff at State. The coaches at State make me feel like I have been up there for 8 to 10 years. I know Coach (Glenn) Davis real well. He is real cool. I talked to Coach Sherrill when they played Ole Miss last year. [Glenn Davis is the MSU coach that will recruit Ken.-Gene]

"I talked to the coaches at Ole Miss. They are cool."

What spring games did you attend this spring?
"Ole Miss' and Southern's."

Talk a little about your experiences at both games.
"Southern Miss' game was good. They had a lot of hard-hitting, a lot of hard-hitting. That surprised me.

"Ole Miss' game was like a real game. They had the walk-through, the band playing. They let us walk through the Grove. It was like a real gameday situation. I enjoyed that."

Did you attend any college Junior Days this spring?
"No, I didn't."

What schools are sending you letters?
"Ole Miss, Southern Miss, (Mississippi) State, Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Troy State, Memphis, Jackson State, Arkansas, South Carolina, the University of Indiana, the University of Illinois, UCLA, Colorado, Army, Marshall, Tennessee, Clemson, Louisiana Tech....there are so many, I can't think of all of them. The majority of my letters are from Auburn."

Are you receiving hand-written letters?
"(MSU) Coach Davis has sent me a few. Every coach from Ole Miss wrote me hand-written letters. That surprised me."

Have you grown up a fan of any particular school?
"I grew up watching State. I am a fan of theirs. That is where I plan to go if everything works out."

I know you mentioned MSU as the school you are a fan of and where you would like to go, but are there other schools you are interested in?
"Ole Miss, I want to go (visit) LSU, and I would have to say Auburn."

Tell me your thoughts about each one of those schools?
"State, it is real nice up there. I like the campus, I like the people up there. I have watched them on tv, that is when I first said I wanted to play for State. When I went to the games, that is when I started to like Mississippi State a lot. If everything goes right, that is where I am going to be at.

"Down in Baton Rouge, I just like the type of crowd that they have. I like a big, loud crowd. That is part of what makes a good game.

"When I went to the (Ole Miss) spring game, there was just something about it. Walking through the room and walking through the Grove...I had a really good time there." [I believe Ken was talking about an Ole Miss hall of fame or awards type room when he referred to the room.-Gene]

Ken, I've really enjoyed talking to you. Good luck with the recruiting process.


Other info. about Ken:

  • Ken is a very nice young man who was very enjoyable to talk to.
  • Ken told me he is doing well in school this year and should be fine academically. He will take his ACT test in June.
  • Ken is a very hard worker as evidenced by the fact that he not only plays football and goes to school, but also holds down a four-day a week job.
  • He has received over 130 recruiting letters from schools throughout the nation. He is receiving up to three a day now.


    Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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