It's Time to Trip

We closed out 2005 with the breaking news of Levirt Griffin's switch in his verbal commitment from Cal to Stanford. Now that the dust has settled, he can finally and quietly take his official visit to The Farm. Meanwhile, the multi-sport standout is already into his second sport this year at Modest High School, with even more team success than the Panthers enjoyed in football...

For most recruits, the official visit is a critical and deciding event for their college choice.  For Levirt Griffin, the four-star defensive end from Modesto (Calif.) High School, all of his December drama predated the official visit he will take this weekend to Stanford.  Originally committed to play across the Bay for rival California, the 6'4" 255-pound lineman took a series of unofficial visits throughout the summer and fall to both campuses before he was admitted to Stanford last month and promptly made a change in his college commitment.

Throughout the difficult and controversial process, Griffin never took an official visit to Cal, Stanford or any other school.  With that storm having now subsided, Scout.com's #11 defensive end in the nation will have the chance to finally trip in an official capacity to The Farm this weekend.

"I'm heading there on Friday and will do the whole weekend.  I'm looking forward to it," he says.

This weekend is the biggest of the year for Stanford recruiting.  Though the number of visitors will not compare with the large hauls seen at nominal football factories during their "big" visit weekends, the admissions-thinned pool for the Cardinal will have its most targets of the year on hand this weekend.  Griffin will be joined by fellow commits such as Derek Hall and Andrew Phillips, as well as undecided recruits Toby Gerhart, Richard Sherman, Sione Fua and others.

A weekend to look forward to, this visit does regrettably pull Griffin away from his basketball team.  Football is the big man's best sport, and Modesto High this fall won their first outright league title in 40 years by grabbing the Modesto Metro Conference championship with a perfect 5-0 record (MHS finished 7-4 overall after a first-round playoff upset loss to St. Mary's).  But it is on the hardcourt where the Panthers are making the most noise this year.

"We're 13-0 and ranked #15 in the state in Division I," Griffin proudly reports.  "We lost in the section semifinals last year, but if we keep this going, we should go farther than that this year."

A player whose success is predicated upon his speed, athleticism and strength on the gridiron, Griffin has an additional skill set on the hardwood that has helped propel the Panthers to their success thus far this year.

"They look to me as someone who works hard.  They feed from my energy a lot," the multi-sport standout describes.  "I'm a leader and a coach on the court."

Primarily a post player, Griffin is also a versatile athlete who has played anywhere from the 'three' to the 'five' for Modesto.  As you would expect, he is a formidable rebounder, averaging 10 per game, but he also has the ability to shoot out to 15 feet and has scored several times in double digits.


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