"Stephen is a kid that has no negatives," South Meck head coach Rocky White said. "He has the size, he has the speed, he has the strength, he has the agility, he has the coachability – he does all the things you're supposed to do on and off the field. He has a great family to back him up and reinforce the things he's supposed to be doing."
Griffin began his prep career at Yorktown (Va.) Tabb, where he started his freshman and sophomore seasons at cornerback.
Last June, his family moved to Charlotte, forcing Griffin to transfer to South Mecklenburg. There he was moved to safety and eventually asked to become a major part of the offense.
"They asked me how I'd feel about starting at quarterback and I was like ‘You have to do what you have to do for the team,'" Griffin said.
Just before South Meck hosted Charlotte Myers Park in week three, Griffin became the starting quarterback.
"We didn't know how he was going to respond, because he was new to us," White said. "But we found out that he loves challenges and embraces whatever situation we put him in."
"It was definitely new and it was hard at times," Griffin said. "But it gave me the opportunity to make plays and put the team in the best position to make plays."
Griffin completed 45-of-82 passes for 565 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 543 yards and three scores on 83 carries. He continued to start at safety where he tallied 80 tackles, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions (returning one for a touchdown).
In December, North Carolina offered Griffin.
"My coach told me that I needed to call Coach [Gunter] Brewer and Coach [Larry] Fedora wanted to talk to me," Griffin said. "I called them and we talked for a little bit. And then they extended me an offer.
"I thought it was pretty cool – it was [an offer from] another in-state school. I like the fact that it's close to home. I thought it was another good opportunity to play football."
According to Griffin, UNC is recruiting him as an athlete with an emphasis on safety. White believes Griffin could play any of the three safety positions within UNC's 4-2-5 defensive scheme.
"The great thing with Stephen with his size, you can put him in the middle of the field and he can cover the whole half of the field," White said. "He has hips and flexibility and length to do that. Or you and put him down out on the edge, because he comes down and he brings a load. He's one of the kids that really enjoys coming down and being physical."
In total, ten schools have offered Griffin, including Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest. Ohio State has told him that they will offer if and when he visits its campus. He plans to travel to Ohio State on March 22.
Before his Columbus trip, Griffin will attend UNC's Junior Day this Saturday and then Duke's Junior Day the following Saturday. He also plans to attend Tennessee's Spring Game and is in the process of setting up a trip to NC State in the coming months.
Clemson, UNC, NC State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest have emerged as early favorites for Griffin.
"I know a little bit more about those schools," Griffin said. "So I'm a little bit more familiar with them."
Griffin says he plans to make a concerted effort to learn more about Michigan and Ohio State.
Most of Griffin's knowledge about UNC stems from a couple of game visits he made last fall. He was in Kenan Stadium when the Tar Heels hosted both East Carolina and Boston College.
"I liked the atmosphere," Griffin said. "I like the coaches – I like Coach Fedora and I like Coach Brewer, who's my recruiter. I just like what they have going on down there. I like the fan base and it seems like a really cool place."
Since the end of the football season, Griffin has attended junior days at Clemson and Tennessee. Clemson also happens to be where his father, Steve, played running back from ‘82 to '86. The younger Griffin says the family connection won't factor into his recruitment.
"My dad does like to stick up for his alma mater every once in a while, but he's told me he wants what's best for me," Griffin said. "Wherever I feel comfortable at is where I'll go."
Griffin grew up a fan of Clemson and Tennessee. He liked Clemson because his father played there and liked Tennessee because he lived in Knoxville... Besides Knoxville, Yorktown, and Charlotte, Griffin has lived in Charlottesville… While in Knoxville, Griffin attended preschool with Tennessee signee Todd Kelly… Griffin is a member of South Meck's track-and-field team to work on his conditioning during football's offseason.