Griffin back from visit

James Griffin stands 6-2 and weighs 205 'on a good day'. Also, 'on a good day', he's good for 5 sacks in a half, like he did against East Los Angeles College last year. The linebacker from Pasadena City College is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, but is now ready to tackle the next level of football wherever that might take him. Could it be Seattle, Washington?

"It was just fun, a lot of fun," James told Dawgman.com of his official visit to the University of Washington last weekend as the Huskies took on the San Jose State Spartans. "We kicked it on the field and hung out a lot with Reggie Williams and Eddie Jackson. They made me feel at home. They told me that they want to be my family away from my family."

Griffin enjoyed the game between the Huskies and Spartans. "It was up and down the first half, but that second half...that's what they call Husky football. I was impressed." Washington is recruiting James as a WIL, something he knows a little bit about. "I really want to go somewhere where they play the same defense we do at Pasadena," he said. "We run a 46 and I play SAM in that defense, but when I went over the tape of Washington's defense yesterday I was pretty shocked at how close they are. They run almost exactly the same defense we run...it's just the names that are different."

Rick Neuheisel has been recruiting Griffin heavily and has told James exactly where he stands in regards to playing time straight out of JC. "They have been talking to me a lot, telling me I'm one of their top priorities," he said. "I know they are losing two linebackers, and Coop (Marquis Cooper) and number 53 (Joe Lobendahn) are the main linebackers that are coming back. It looks like a good situation where I could come in and compete for a starting job right away. And Coach Neuheisel is a great coach. I like the fact that they have been recruiting me hard."

The Huskies aren't the only school that knows about Griffin. "I have 24 offers," he said. "I think it's almost everybody in the top-25." (laughs) Included in that list are Miami, Florida State, Washington, Virginia Tech and Oregon. James took a trip to Virginia Tech last weekend and loved both visits. "Right now I almost feel like I should flip a coin, and whatever it ends up, that's where I should go," he said, noting the difficulty in his eventual choice. "Both were very good visits. Coach Neuheisel and Coach (Frank) Beamer are great coaches. The fans at both schools are great, and I feel I have a chance to compete for a national championship at both schools." The Hokies also have a secret weapon in DT Jimmy Williams, Griffin's best friend. "We played in high school and at Pasadena together," he said. James also noted that Virginia Tech also runs a defense that is very similar to the 46 attack he plays at Pasadena.

Griffin is set to put pen to paper on December 18th, the first day of the early signing period for JUCO players. From now until then, it will be an interesting time for James. "I told Coach Neuheisel I might want to make one more trip and then I would decide. I like the coaches at Oregon, so I might do it there. Maybe Florida State. I'm not really even sure yet. It's just a day-to-day thing."

Griffin originally signed with Middle Tennessee State out of high school before transferring out to Pasadena City College. Earlier this year he verbally committed to LSU, but has since backed off that pledge.

Because of his year at MTSU, he'll have 2 to play 2 wherever he ends up. On the plus side, he graduates in December, so James would be coming in for spring wherever he goes.

During his first year at PCC, Griffin was named JC freshman player of the year, as well as first-team all conference and honorable mention all-american. He had 89 tackles, including 25 tackles for loss. His last recorded 40 time was 4.49.

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