Irish fans will remember that last year's Notre Dame staff recruited two running backs from St. Peter's Prep, Mike Brown and Rashawn Jackson. Brown and Jackson went on to sign with Virginia. What you might not have known is that, as talented as those players were, Kee-Ayre Griffin (5-9, 185 pounds) actually led St Peter's in rushing yardage, and arguably might be considered the better player.
Griffin has been playing football ever since he can remember, and as far back as he can recall, he's been carrying the football. But a player with his athletic ability may need to consider a change when colleges come calling.
"I started playing when I was five," Griffin said. "I've always been a running back. I actually started playing corner when I was in the eighth grade.
"Some schools are recruiting me as a running back, and others have talked about corner, but I'd prefer play running back. I just like the position. I like to have the ball in my hands – I like to make things happen.
"I can move real well. I have some shake," explained Griffin when asked what made him an effective runner. "I have finesse, explosiveness and speed. I can make things happen."
Even with the crowded backfield in 2004, Griffin ended up with 104 carries, for 882 yards, and 12 touchdowns. In addition to his rushing yards, he had 12 catches, for 276 yards, and four touchdowns.
Griffin is receiving recruiting attention from several major programs, but his early list of favorites includes a number of schools from the Midwest. I asked Kee-Ayre if he had interest in Notre Dame and if they were recruiting him.
"Yeah, I'm interested," he responded. "They have been sending me mail."
"Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maryland and USC," he responded when asked who were the schools he was focusing on at this stage of recruiting.
Comments: I think most Notre Dame fans were impressed by the two running backs from St. Peter's last year. If Griffin put up better numbers than they did, I have to believe that he's a pretty good player. Griffin sounded interested in the Irish, but I'm not sure he knows much about Notre Dame and the new coaching at this time. The Irish staff will have some time to make a positive impression.