Vols coaches show Griffin 'a lot of love'

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MARIETTA, Ga. — Among the concerns when Butch Jones and his staff took over at Tennessee was the lack of speed on the Volunteers roster.

As prospects recruited by Jones & Co. make their way into signees and Vols, the problem steadily draws closer to becoming solved.

A junior that could go a long way to bringing that raw tool to the Orange & White offense is Taj Griffin.

Griffin, who ranks in at No. 66 in the Scout 300, recently made his way up to Tennessee for a junior day with some of his McEachern (Ga.) High School teammates.

"It went really well," the No. 7 junior in the Peach State told InsideTennessee. "They showed us a lot of love. Great place. Went and watched the basketball game a little bit. It was a good experience. I really like the staff. Everything was good. The facilities are nice. I really liked it."

That hoops contest at Thompson-Boling Arena included an announced attendance figure of 18,519.

"They were pretty live. I like that. Die hard fans," he said.

Zach Azzanni recruits the region in Georgia in which Griffin resides.

"He's cool," Griffin said of the Tennessee recruiting coordinator. "I keep in touch with him a lot. He's always hitting me up on Twitter, updating me with fun facts on the school."

The 5-foot-10 1/2, 175-pounder earned MVP of the Atlanta NIKE Football Training Camp, primarily by posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.43 seconds.

That performance got him an invite to The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., this July and a chance to compete with and against 161 of the other top players in the nation.

"I'm very happy," Griffin said. "I've been working for this for awhile now. I've been working really hard me and my dad. I put in a lot of work. It's a big accomplishment, and I'm real excited."

The No. 6 running back in the country, per Scout, said the winter and spring work with the camps and combines make competing on prep Friday's simpler.

"Just competing with the best of the best gets you a look at the top athletes and prepares you for the people you're going to play during the season."

Georgia, Florida State, Ohio State and Oregon are believed to be some of the Powder Springs, Ga., resident's top schools. The Vols are trying to nudge their way in there as Griffin could be electric with the ball in space on Rocky Top.

"Everybody's still there," he said. "I'm trying to take it step-by-step."

The Scout four-star prospect says he'll likely attend the Clemson spring game. He also hopes to check out Florida State, Ohio State and USC soon.

Griffin suggests he could pull the trigger soon or partake in the entire process.

"There's no telling really. When me and my parents come together as one and basically talk about what school would be best for me but haven't gotten to that point but working toward it."

As a junior at McEachern, he ran 1,253 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.


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Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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