Brandon Foster (5-8, 170, 4.3, 32-inch vertical) is probably the most underrated of the DB corps despite winning the UT staff over early this summer. Steve Richardson (5-9, 175, 4.17, 37-inch vertical) possesses all-world sprinter's speed, but with his smallish stature, look for him to come in with something to prove like Foster. Erick Jackson (6-2, 175, 4.37, 33-inch vertical) is hoping to make the move from safety to corner while recent verbal Tarell Brown (5-11.5, 185, 4.28, 37-inch vertical) is considered the trophy of the secondary class of 2003.
But wait, there's more. When you add Michael Griffin to the star-studded secondary unit, you can envision Duane Akina devising schemes around a ridiculous assortment of speed (in what amounts to an embarrassment of riches) that could probably give the U.S. Olympic sprint relay team a run for its money.
Griffin, a 6-0,185-pound, blue-chipper from Austin Bowie, is definitely not lacking in the acclaim department and IT wanted to get the skinny on the Austin prep starting with an update on his current measurements plus some other much-needed information. And to his credit, Griffin was extremely forthcoming on many different fronts in IT's interview.
Inside Texas: Need to get an update on your measurements and stats.
Michael Griffin: HT -- 6'0"
WT -- 184
40 -- 4.48
Vertical -- 33"
20-yard shuttle -- 4.18
Bench -- 225
Squat -- 385
Power Clean -- 230
Rushing -- 1400 yards
Carries -- 150-160
TDs -- 13 (total) 12 Rushing
Tackles -- 46
IT: Let's dig right in. You've excelled at running the football during your high school career, but you'll be making a move to the other side of the ball while at the Forty Acres and though numerous people have made that transition from offense to defense or had success after switching to another position from the high school ranks to the collegiate ranks, some have not. Yet in your specific case, everyone projects you to eventually become an outstanding defensive back. In your words, explain what has transpired over the last six or seven months pegging you as a can't-miss defensive back prospect.
MG: Well... there's a few reasons, I guess. I really worked hard this last summer. I have a personal trainer (Sean Adams) that worked me out with a bunch of other kids doing a lot of agility drills (cones, ladders/ropes) and some conditioning work. I've got good height, long arms and pretty good quicks. And I have really good change-of-direction skills.
IT: Great stuff. But why does nearly everybody see you locking down your assignment against Division 1-A wideouts?
MG: I'd have to say during the 7-on-7 competition I showed my coverage skills. I opened a lot of people's eyes. I matched-up against the toughest receiver in every game and held my own. Not only that, but our team advanced to the finals, so a lot of people got to see me perform as a corner for several games and I must have impressed a lot of people because I did a really good job in shutting down my opponents. We lost by two points to (Drew Tate-led) Baytown Lee or we would have won the championship. Oh yeah, I got defensive MVP of the 7-on-7 tournament.
IT: Sweet. Defensive MVP has to be something you're proud of and a reward for your hard work as well as a credit to your personal trainer, Sean Adams. Especially while playing man-to-man at your future position as a collegiate athlete and getting recognized for the skills you have at your disposal. Let's talk about the Nike Camp in College Station. You impressed, but didn't get that many reps. Take us through each and every rep.
MG: Yeah, I think we got about 15-20 minutes and that wasn't a lot of time, plus there were some other DBs jumping in to get more reps, trying to impress the coaches and scouts, I guess. But I did really good on all three reps. 1st - INT, 2nd - batted it down, 3rd - miscommunication on the wide receiver and QBs part, another incompletion. So, I think in that little bit of action, I showed everyone that completing a pass against me was going to be very difficult.
IT: Tarell Brown was there, what was your impression of him?
MG: Oh, he's really good and really fast. He ran a 4.28 at the Nike camp. He was the Nike Camp MVP, so that pretty much explains it. You get Nike Camp MVP and there's not a whole lot more you can say.
IT: You matched up against Limas Sweed in the 7-on-7 tourney and you also got to see him against other corners, break him down for us...
Michael Griffin Part-2 coming later on Inside Texas as we look to bring you the rest of the story... and more.