Mill Creek's head football coach Shannon Jarvis had himself a busy morning.
Of course, it was for a good reason as his star player Kelsey Griffin announced his commitment to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Griffin, a four-star defensive lineman, chose South Carolina over Georgia in another heated recruiting battle between both schools. However, this commitment almost never happened as Griffin tried to commit to Georgia a few weeks back but his commitment was denied by the Bulldogs. Once that happened, Griffin decided to focus on his visit to South Carolina this past weekend and as they say, the rest is history.
Coach Jarvis talked about the scenario with Georgia but points out that the Gamecocks were always there in the mix for Griffin. This weekend was a make or break weekend for Griffin and the Gamecocks. This trip was going to be the deciding factor on whether or not Griffin would open up his recruitment outside of the Gamecocks and Bulldogs if he didn't come away with the right feeling about South Carolina. The trip certainly showed him enough to make South Carolina his future home.
"He's very excited," said Coach Shannon Jarvis. "The biggest emphasis I want to make, it's probably well publicized, with South Carolina it's always been about them and UGA. He wanted to make this trip this past weekend and determine whether he wanted to open up his recruitment or not. I think pretty quickly you see how pleased he was with the environment."
One of the major deciding factors in Griffin's recruitment was his family. He wanted to be close to his parents which was a big reason why the Bulldogs were always at the top to land his commitment. This past weekend, Griffin was able to bring his dad with him to Columbia to get a feel for South Carolina for the first time. He had previously visited the school with Coach Jarvis but having his parents involved played a big role in landing his commitment.
"This was the first time he could have his parents on campus with him. I took him for the spring game and he loved the place then. He just now was able to get his dad to go on the trip with him this past weekend and obviously that environment and the game was very impressive to him."
If South Carolina fans have someone to thank for landing Kelsey Griffin, it would be Coach G.A. Mangus. Magus, along with defensive line coach Brad Lawing, played a major role in landing the commitment of Griffin. South Carolina's style play and the showcase of the Gamecocks defensive line on Saturday night against Georgia only helped solidify their case for Griffin's commitment.
"The most impressive thing is their coaches with Coach Lawing and Coach Mangus, his recruiter, and their style of play. Kelsey saw first hand on Saturday night how active their defensive line is and how it matches up to Kelsey's strength."
Griffin's strengths are something Coach Jarvis thinks will fit in well with the Gamecocks defense.
"Greatest asset is his quickness and using his hands and coming off the ball. He's going to be an inside three-technique in the 4-3 scheme and he fits perfectly with what they have and he's very excited about it.
While football is one of the many strengths of Kelsey Griffin, Coach Jarvis talked about how well of a person he is off the field.
"As good as a player he is, he's a better person. Kelsey is very grounded. Throughout the recruiting process, he had offers from schools all over the country but no one knew it. He never made the recruiting process more than what it was. He narrowed it down to two schools pretty quickly and he's very happy with the one he chose. It's a credit to who he is. He knows exactly what he wants."
Griffin's character will suit him well at South Carolina. Coach Jarvis mentioned that his main focus for college would be to get an education and to play football for four years. Other schools attempted to use tactics like the NFL at him, but that wasn't his main goal.
"With him going to USC, he wants an education and to play football for 4 years. People tried to recruit him using the NFL but that's not his goal. It's a dream of his, of course, but he wants his education and to play football while he's doing it. It's refreshing to have a kid like that and that's a reflection of his parents that they've kept him grounded and he's got his priorities in order and if you talk to him right now, his number one priority is the ball game this Friday."
South Carolina has become a team-first mentality in recent years and this is exactly what kind of person Kelsey Griffin is in high school.
"He's a great teammate on our team. Everyone loves him. He's a wonderful young man who will be successful regardless where he went and whether he plays football or not."
Landing Griffin was not only important for the Gamecocks, but how they've gone about recruiting has shown they use the right approach in the eyes of Coach Jarvis.
"He'll add to what they are doing right now. It's not that I'm a fan of any college. They're doing a good job. They know exactly what they want. They know what type of player they want and they are getting them. It's interesting the success they're going to have coming up. They are doing a good job. They've won me over now!"
Coach Jarvis said that Griffin will likely take his official visit later this year.
This is a win-win situation for the Gamecocks as they've picked up a player of need at a critical position and continued their strong recruiting in the state of Georgia.
Coach Jarvis closed by saying the Gamecocks stole a good one today.
"Mangus and Lawing have come in there and stole someone. They did a great job and got a good player."
This is the 21st commitment for South Carolina in the 2013 class. The Gamecocks are currently 14th in the FOXSportsNext.com team recruiting rankings.
Shannon Jarvis talks Kelsey Griffin pledge
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