LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Houston Griffith has seen Notre Dame enough to know the program better than most prospects.
Already the four-star defensive back from IMG Academy in Sarasota, Fla., by way of Chicago is approaching double digit visits to South Bend. Yet his homework on the Irish continues. Griffith continued it Sunday at The Opening regional, meeting up with four-star cornerback Kalon Gervin to talk about the Irish more.
Gervin committed Feb. 13. Griffith wanted to know why Notre Dame was his choice. He heard a familiar refrain.
“I’ve asked a couple of kids that were at IMG,” Griffith said. “I asked Rob (Hainsey). They say, ‘It’s Notre Dame. You’re gonna get a great education and then you’re gonna have the opportunity to play against the best players on national TV every week.’ They say it’s a great opportunity. They’re always pushing me to do it.”
Perhaps Griffith will pull the trigger for Notre Dame eventually. But there’s still work to be done.
Griffith is targeting a trip to USC this summer. He wants to start considering his options more closely, perhaps trimming down the list this spring or summer to a more reasonable list of primary contenders.
Some offers on the table now include Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin, among others.
“Probably early playing time is a thing I’m looking at,” Griffith said. “But I’m a competitor. I go to IMG, so I’m competing all the time. I feel like that’s not going to be a problem. Also a school where I can get a great education and also the opportunity to play for a national championship.
“That’s the big goal in the house. My dad won a Super Bowl and my brother won a high school state title. I’ve gotta get a natty.”
Notre Dame has already solidified itself as a safe bet to make any shortened list.
Griffith communicates with defensive coordinator Mike Elko on the regular. Defensive backs coach Todd Lyght has been a consistent presence with the 6-foot-1, 192-pound prospect.
“It’s been good,” Griffith said. “Coach Elko hits me up a lot during the week. Just making sure I’m doing OK or when he’s gonna be at IMG or sending me a little information about Notre Dame. It hasn’t been that big a deal because I know coach turnover is normal. It’s a business. It’s not a problem with me.”
Elko has been highlighting a potential fit between program, system and prospect. Griffith has heard multiple options in terms of future position. And his fact finding continues.
“Coach Elko told me I can play corner, I can play in the nickel and I could play safety,” Griffith said. “They think I can play all over and play right away as well.”