5-Star Griffin Talks Football; Recruiting

James Griffin may very well be the top junior college player in the nation. A versatile prospect who will likely end up at linebacker in college next season, Griffin is receiving interest from almost every top program in the nation. Read what Griffin had to say about his season, recruitment, and more in our in-depth interview with Juco All-American James Griffin.

James Griffin is a madman on the field. A junior college All-American, Griffin has had a remarkable start to his second and final season at Pasadena City College, helping PCC to an early 4-0 start. "The season's going straight," Griffin told VT Insider. "I've got 27 solo tackles on the year so far. I just had my best game last week with eleven tackles, six hurries, and three sacks. In four games, we're 4-0 and I'm on record pace for quarterback hurries. I've got about 30 so far this year."

At 6-2, 200 pounds with a 4.4 forty and incredible strength and versatility, it is no wonder that Griffin is the most highly recruited Junior College player in the nation. "I've got like 34 scholarship offers right now," Griffin said. "I've got Washington and Virginia Tech and then Florida State and Florida and on so it's hard to break it all down," Griffin noted. "Most Junior College players don't deal with this many schools."

"I think I'm going to take an official visit to Oregon on the 19th of this month," Griffin said. "I was going to LSU but I backed off that for now and might wait until a later date for that. I've got Oregon, LSU, and Michigan State [that want me to visit officially] on the 19th but I don't know."

Griffin has already visited Virginia Tech and Washington officially and said that he will more than likely visit Florida State as well. Oregon should receive an official on the 19th although that visit is not set in stone yet. Griffin told VTI that he has two favorites right now, Virginia Tech and Washington.

"Really, they're both even in their own way," Griffin said. "At Washington they have Coach Rick Neuheisel. He's recruiting me. I don't talk to assistant coaches," he continued. "When I get a call, it's from him. It's a big thing when you're being recruited by the [head] coach. He even had his little kids call me. When you have a kid call you, it's something," Griffin exclaimed. "Me and Coach Neuheisel played a game of basketball [on my visit] too and he said if he hit three in a row, I had to go to Washington. He did."

"Virginia Tech...my best friend [Jimmy Williams] goes there. I like the school a lot too. I like both of them and it's going to be a hard choice to make. The next three trips will be like national championship teams that I'm visiting which will make it tough too."

While the recruiting process is time consuming, it's also very exciting for the Memphis, Tennessee native. "Junior College [recruiting] is more fun because I'm older," Griffin said. "I'm like 'Wow, Coach Beamer, Coach Neuheisel, you know. Oregon was at my last game - there are just so many. Coaches from Florida State, everywhere. They come in packs. It's just fun."

"Most coaches have been flying out here and coaches are calling 24/7 - that makes it hard to choose," Griffin continued. You've got two years at a JC and every school in the top 25 is recruiting me. And like I said, my best friend is at VT too so that makes it hard."

"I've been getting boxes of stuff from everywhere. It's real, real sick," Griffin continued. "My coach says he's never had anyone recruited by this many schools."

With all this recruiting, what trick coaches have pulled is Griffin's favorite? "The Oregon coaches sent a highlight picture of me with in an Oregon jersey," he said. "It was a big poster like the one in Times Square. I was like 'how did they do that?'"

The small things like letters and phone calls are important in his recruitment as well. "I've got over 1,000 letters," Griffin noted. "I've gotten posters of schools and stadiums and all that stuff."

"I'd say I get 30-40 handwritten letters a day. The whole coaching staffs at Arizona, Virginia Tech, and Washington call - it kind of makes you feel good. Even the offensive coaches know who they are recruiting."

And with good reason. These offensive coaches surely do not want to have to face Griffin on opposing teams in the future. "Most coaches say 'you play a unique style of football - you can do a bunch of things, not one thing,'" Griffin recalled.

"Most linebackers can go play and read plays, but I can read at linebacker, line up on the line at defensive end, line up at corner, or line up at free safety and make plays. Sometimes I blitz at free safety or sometimes I go to defensive end. I got three quick sacks last week like that. I don't believe any player in junior college has as quick of a first step as I do."

At least one Junior College referee agrees. "One referee called offsides because I was back there so fast, he couldn't tell if I was offsides or not," Griffin told VTI. "We looked at the film and I was onsides. The referee apologized to me the next game. He couldn't believe I was that quick. I was like 'can I at least get one holding?'"

Why yes you can, Mr. Griffin. You've actually got thousands of college football fans holding. In fact, you've got the fanbases of the entire top 25 holding - holding their collective breath, hoping you choose their favorite school.

Griffin is a five-star linebacker as rated by TheInsiders.com.


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