Sleeper Makes His Case

At Saturday's Los Angeles combine many of the areas most touted football prospects showed up to demonstrate their skills. The talent pool was rich enough to attract a good sized group of college football coaches during this evaluation period including Pete Carroll of national champion USC. When the camp got rolling this morning, nobody was predicting that Ryan Griffith might be the top performer among the lineman prospects. That may have changed.

Ryan is a 6-foot-5, 245 pound offensive/defensive lineman out of Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Los Osos is not even close to being a football powerhouse and in fact this coming season will only be the school's fourth year in existence. Shoot, this is a program that only recently added a weight room so that the players could train more effectively.

Early in the day Ryan ran an impressive 5.04 second forty on a slow grass field, but not a lot of people noticed. However, the highlight of any combine is the one on one drills and Griffith was certainly noticed then. He repeatedly took on the best as both an offensive and defensive lineman and nearly always bested the opposing player, including studs like Long Beach Poly's Conan Amituanai. While some players blended into the background to avoid the drill's high profile physical contact, Ryan kept returning to the front of the line for another shot. Griffith demonstrates excellent footwork and hands combined with an explosive intensity. When the camp ended the staff was buzzing about Ryan and some were asserting that he was the top lineman performer on either side of the ball. In fact, Ryan was singled out later for a post combine video interview.

On the recruiting front Ryan Griffith is mostly receiving mail right now, but one of the schools sending letters every week is Oregon. Apparently the Ducks, which often leave no recruiting stone unturned, are looking hard at Griffith. Even though Ryan prefers playing on offense, his 6-foot-5, 245 pound frame with speed makes a strong case for defensive end in college. Cal and Colorado State say they are close to offering Ryan, but currently his top three favorites are Colorado, Oregon and Washington.

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