Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his 201-yard, one touchdown performance against Air Force Saturday in Colorado Springs.
This is the second straight week the Sooners have won a Big 12 award as star linebacker Rocky Calmus was named the Defensive Player of the Week last week. Amazingly, the Sooners great special team duo of Tim Duncan and Jeff Ferguson have yet to win the special teams awards, despite their outstanding play in the first two games.
‘Q' continues to be the rock on the offensive side of the ball and finally, his great play is getting played all across the country.
"He had an excellent game against Air Force. The offensive line did a nice job, but Quentin did a great job finding holes and making people miss him," said Sooner Head Coach Bob Stoops. "Quentin picked up a lot of yards, many after first contact, to give us a spark and get us going."
The value of ‘Q' is not just in statistics alone. He is the complete running back needed for Oklahoma's spread offense.
"Quentin is a very versatile player for us," said Stoops. "He is a great leader, great worker, protects well, catches well and certainly runs well. He can do just about everything you ask him."
Griffin was not a heavily recruited player coming out of Aldine Nimitz, Texas. OU assistant Bobby Jack Wright didn't really have to beat anybody to sign him and he was considered the throw-in to with Jarvis Smith in the Sooners' packaged deal from Nimitz. However, it soon became apparent that Griffin was something special, working over the Sooner varsity defense on the scout team. Griffin came out of his redshirt in 1999 with five games remaining his freshman year and he has been a starter every since.
It seems Griffin has improved each and every game. He certainly has the confidence of the Sooner coaching staff and despite tremendous talent pushing him everyday in practice, ‘Q' just keeps getting better.
"Quentin is a young man who just works hard every week," said Sooner running back coach Cale Gundy. "Every day in practice he tries to get better and he accomplishes that. We asked him to become a better blocker and he is now one of the best blocking running backs in the country. We asked him to get bigger and stronger and he put on 20 pounds and now has our best bench press and squats among running backs."
Griffin's versatility in the Sooner backfield sometimes gets overlooked on a national level. The national press likes those running backs that carry the ball 25 times a game and pound the ball down field. However, that is the beauty of Griffin. He will touch the ball 25 times a game, but seven of those may be on the receiving end. Griffin will finish with 140 to 180 yards in total offense, which is just as good as a great tailback getting that much yardage on the ground.
"Griffin is the total package and a great all around player," said Gundy. "He is the type of running back that we recruit here at Oklahoma. We need guys that can do more than one thing and need one that can do more than just run the ball. You have to be able to catch it and you have to pass protect here at OU to play running back for us. Quentin has worked very hard and it was nice to see him get that award today."
Quentin is the quiet leader on this football team and the Sooners feed off his effort every game. You can't get ‘Q' to say much, but maybe it's time we just let his action on the field speak for him. That by itself, has plenty to say and Griffin is certainly one of the very best running backs in the country.