Recruiting: OU makes Arizona DE's top five

Avondale, Ariz defensive end Everson Griffen talks about his top five and interest in Oklahoma.

Everson Griffen, DE, 6'4, 265, 4.55, AVONDALE (AGUA FRIA UNION HS), AZ:

Every college in the country would like to line up with Everson Griffen in their starting line-up at defensive end. Regarded as the best defensive end prospect out West, Griffen just might also be the very best defensive end in the country.

"It just gives me more motivation to push myself harder and to do better," said Griffen on the high acclaim being thrown his way. "It just makes me do better in the classroom and in the weight room to make myself as a better player."

Griffen worked his way into the starting line-up as a sophomore and he has never looked back. This past season, Griffen finished with 47 tackles, 30 solo jobs, five sacks and three fumble recoveries. On offense, he rushed for 794 yards, 168 yards receiving yards and nine total TDs. As a sophomore, season Griffen finished with 70 tackles and 12 sacks.

Griffen can bench 405 pounds, squat 540 and he has posted a 32-inch vertical jump. He starts in hoops and averages 18 points per game. In track, he throws the shot (2nd in state 56'6) and discus (1st in state in discus at 165 in his first year to throw the discus) and he played a key role in school winning the state track and field championship.

"It felt good," said Griffen. "I wish we could have also won it in football. The feeling was so great in track that I want to feel it again, and hopefully this year we can win it in football."

Griffen camped at Arizona following his sophomore year and he plans to go to the UCLA, USC and Arizona camps this summer. He wants to get out of the area for one camp, and he says that will most likely be at OU.

Griffen has been offered by 15 schools thus far, but he says he is keeping his options open.

"All my options are open right now," said Griffen. "I am just looking for the best school that fits me both academically and athletically. I have a top five — USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, Arizona and Arizona State, but I am still talking to everybody and still evaluating everybody. I am going to take my five visits and then make my decision, so I will eventually choose among the five schools that I visit. I don't have a favorite."

What does he think about Oklahoma?

"They are in the same spot as everybody right now, but I feel I will visit Oklahoma," said Griffen. "I have some family in Oklahoma. I have my step-grandmother who lives there and some other family. I have watched Oklahoma on TV a lot recently. I love watching Adrian Peterson and loved watching Dusty Dvoracek on defense. They have a great program and I know I will visit there."

Most that talk with Griffen think that he will stay with a program out West, but Griffen disputes that theory.

"Where the school is has nothing to do with it," said Griffen. "If the school that fits me the best is out West, then I will stay out here. But if it in Oklahoma or wherever, then I will go there. Distance or where the school is located doesn't matter to me."

Giffen says he is not going to have any problem qualifying.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories