One of the most talented, yet not well known, skill position talents the state of Georgia has to offer would be Tyler Griffin. The Brooklet (Ga.) Southeast Bulloch athlete is just that, an athlete.
Playing basketball and football growing up, It's football that he's being recruited to play. He holds football scholarship offers from several programs including UCF, Wake Forest, Coastal Carolina, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Tulane, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Nebraska, Colorado, Georgia Southern and Western Kentucky.
If this young man played in Gwinnett County, the famed high school football hotbed just east of Atlanta, make no mistake, Griffin’s offer list would be much higher. He’s in a remote area of the state of Georgia so he’s not as highly recruited as he likely should be.
That’s why it’s best to communicate with the individual that can better help people outside the Southeast Bulloch community. For a better perspective of Griffin’s talents, Southeast Bulloch Head Football Coach Jared Zito discussed his star talent with Inside The Knights.
It appears that Griffin is your guy. Is he really good, or is he still developing?
“I think talent-wise he’s really good. He’s probably the most talented wide receiver-defensive back player I’ve coached in 23 years. I mean, I’ve got guys that have played all kinds of levels. I think at some point I had five guys on NFL rosters. So, I’ve got an idea what it looks like talent-wise.
“I don’t know a ton about him yet. Had a little bit of a spring practice with him. Had a couple of days of summer workouts with him last week. Went to (the University of) Georgia seven-on-seven last week. What I can tell you is...for a big, tall guy, I mean he’s all of 6’4 ½”, 200-pounds, he’s a big, tall guy that moves like a little guy, if that makes sense.”
Coach Zito recently came over to Southeast Bulloch, but he already knew Griffin’s talent after watching him just a few times during practice, as he elaborated further.
“His ability to change direction and accelerate, I think, for a long kid...Just watching him this past week at Georgia, he does a really nice job with his ball skills, his body position, and he’s played basketball most of his life.
“You can kind of see how he’ll body up, and go for the football, kind of like rebounders do (in basketball). I think that’s something he could attribute to playing basketball all of those years. Really good body position, soft hands.”
As for Griffin the person, Coach Zito likes his personality and intelligence as well.
“He’s a very quiet kid, but he’s a smart kid. A lot smarter kid than people probably know. Sometimes quiet kids you’re not sure how much they know because you’re not hearing it out of their mouths. The more I watch him, the smarter I think he is.”
As for Griffin’s weight, he’s been fairly steady according to Coach Zito.
“Depending on the week, he fluctuates between 195 and 202. It depends on what he’s been eating. So I’d say 200 pounds is a fair weight.”
What do you think is Griffin’s best position long-term? Should he be a wide receiver or could he be a safety or a linebacker?
“At first, just watching him, I think he’s a receiver, but he’s got some instincts on defense as a safety. I know some people like him as a linebacker. Could he be an outside linebacker? Sure, but I think he’s a better space-guy. I think he could play safety. He could play the field not only because of his length, but because of his ability to accelerate.
“I think he’s a receiver. That’s my first instinct on him just watching some of the kids. I was just cutting up some of the Georgia film. Some of the catches he made, he was covered. He wasn’t wide open. He was covered and shouldn’t have caught the ball. Somehow he was able to body-position himself, and extend. When you’re that tall, and fast, and you can body-position yourself, those are the things that make you really good.”
Thanks to Coach Zito for elaborating about his talented wide receiver. It’s fantastic to gain a closer perspective of a talented player like Griffin, especially when he plays 30 minutes outside of Savannah, Ga. and not that many people really know about him.
Coach Zito confirmed that Griffin really enjoyed his visit to UCF. He will still take more visits, so Inside The Knights will check in with Coach Zito later this summer.
Further, a road trip to Southeast Bulloch is in order this July if the timing works out. Watching Griffin play live is worth the drive. Definitely looking forward to that opportunity.
Griffin’s exploits on the gridiron and the hardwood speak for themselves. Here are some clips of him playing football and basketball.
As one can see, Griffin’s upside is quite high. He’s planning to concentrate on football this fall and not play basketball, so it will be his first full year of football-only training. Imagine how strong this young man will be once he enrolls into a college football program in little less than a year.
He could be a big-play wide receiver, or, as Coach Zito noted, play free safety. Griffin’s ball skills help to separate him from most prospects his size. Further, his lateral-movement-skills are elite for a player over 6’2”, and Griffin is pushing 6’5”.
Griffin is one of those rare talents that could be highly successful at multiple positions. That’s why UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn and his coaching staff brought this young man to Orlando for an official visit this past June 11th.
Griffin is not likely to decide on a school in the near future, but the Knights already hosted him for a visit so they possess that advantage. Adding a player like Griffin to the Knights’ roster would certainly bolster UCF’s chances of winning football games.