National Signing Day had come and gone, and the senior from Columbus DeSales was still weighing his options. That Friday, Griffin had gotten in touch with Tressel to discuss the possibility of walking onto the team.
Tressel had another idea.
"He told me he had a plan when I called him," Griffin told BuckeyeSports.com. "I didn't really know what that was. I began to start thinking that (they might offer) but I didn't want to get my hopes up for no reason. I really had no idea what he was going to do when he called me back."
Four days later, Tressel called Griffin back and offered him a scholarship to play for the Buckeyes. It was all the 5-9, 185-pound athlete could do not to accept it on the spot.
"He told me to go home and talk it over but I pretty much told him I was going to come when he told me," Griffin said. "I called him later that night. It was a no-brainer that I had to take that opportunity."
Griffin helped lead his team to the state championship game as a senior by accumulating 1,736 all-purpose yards, 940 of which came on the ground. He rushed for 16 touchdowns and recorded 47 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
The senior earned all-district, all-city and second-team all-state honors in the process.
He also held offers from Air Force, Army Navy and Eastern Illinois and was receiving recruiting interest from a number of other schools from the Mid-American Conference, his coach said. He also received a phone call from Akron one day after OSU offered him. Without the OSU offer, Griffin said he likely would have ended up playing for Air Force.
The reaction to his joining OSU's class of 2010 has mostly been positive, he said.
"My Facebook has been blowing up with friend requests," Griffin said. "People at school are excited, and of course you have some people who say, ‘Oh, your dad did it for you' or whatever but for the most part people are excited."
His dad is two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, who now serves as president of OSU's Alumni Association. Adam said his father was pretty hands-off throughout his recruitment.
"I really don't think (my dad's career) had too much impact because my dad just stayed out of it," he said. "I think he was pretty indifferent (to my recruitment). He just told me to go wherever I wanted to go. He stayed out of it and let (DeSales head coach Ryan) Wiggins and I take care of it."
As for when he landed the OSU offer, Griffin said his dad's reaction was that "he had no idea. He actually thought I was kidding when I told him."
Listed as a running back/defensive back/return specialist, Griffin's role at OSU will not be determined until he arrives on campus.
"I like to get the ball, so I like playing offense a lot but I'm pretty good at defense too," he said. "I really just like playing football. They just like that I really like Ohio State and I'm a versatile player."