April 19, 2012

Griffin takes another look

Mill Creek defensive lineman Kelsey Griffin and the University of Georgia are pretty familiar with each other at this point.

Georgia was one of the first teams to offer Griffin back in the fall, and since the Bulldogs made him a target, the Hoschton native has made numerous trips to Athens to learn more about the school, the city of Athens, and the UGA program.

The star lineman even made the short trip over to the Classic City on Monday to make up for missing Georgia's annual G-Day Spring scrimmage.

"I wanted to get back on campus there because I missed G-day," said Griffin. "So we decided to go over to the campus and take a tour of the school and the facilities. It was a really good trip."

Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon, who is responsible for recruiting the Gwinnett County area, hosted Griffin on this visit to the UGA campus and the two have gotten to know each other quite well since last fall.

"We were with Coach McClendon the whole time," said Griffin. "He is my main recruiter, and we are pretty close. We have a good relationship and as time does on, that relationship is going to get better and better."

One might think that McClendon, played and currently coaches on the offensive side of the ball for the Bulldogs, and Griffin, who is being recruited as a defensive lineman, might not have a great deal in common, but that isn't exactly the case.

"It isn't weird at all to be honest," said Griffin. "When I am there, I can tell that he wants it to be about me and not about him. A lot of the conversation is centered around how he can help me out and all so I like that. He's a real down to earth guy."

Much like the relationship he has formed with McClendon, Griffin is also forming that same bond with UGA and its surroundings.

"You know, with every trip I take to Athens I feel like I get to know it more and more," he said. "I'm getting to know more about the school, the program, and the whole town, and just how nice of a place it is. It is definitely one of the best schools I have been to, and I can't complain at all."

At 6-foot-1, 289 pounds, Griffin has the sturdy build and size that defensive coaches covet, but what sets the four star prospect a part from most other defensive lineman is his athleticism and ability to use his hands to keep opposing lineman from maintaining contact with his body.

According to the Peach State defender, his ability to use his hands has come from more than one place.

"I think that it is a God-given ability in one way," said Griffin. "But my coaches have also helped me with it a lot. The guys over at WPI (Wellness Performance Institute) in Suwanee have helped me a lot too. It is just something that I can do and I have been working at."

As the summer quickly approaches, Griffin's goals for the 2012 season are two fold as the 120th ranked player in the country by Rivals.com plans to better himself as a player, and spend time learning more about each of his prospective schools.

"This summer I'm working on anything I can to make myself a better defensive lineman," said Griffin. "If it will help me get better, that is what I'll be doing. I also plan on making some visits and seeing more of these schools. I'll definitely be seeing more of Georgia and the other schools that are recruiting me."

In some cases, the recruiting process can wear a recruit down and create stress, but Griffin is focused on having a completely different experience for the eight months.

"I'm just trying to enjoy the process," said Griffin. "It is great to be here, and I'm just trying to take it in."

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