Griffin, a dual-threat quarterback, rushed for 1,149 yards and 19 touchdowns this past fall — his only season at McEachern after beginning his career at North Cobb. He also completed 23 of 39 passes for 399 yards and three touchdowns, along with three interceptions.
Griffin was recruited as an athlete by Georgia Tech, but he said he will be given the opportunity to play quarterback first.
“The offense really fits my playing style,” Griffin said at Thursday’s Cobb County Touchdown Club Banquet. “And I really wanted to go to a place where I could get a good education and play good football.”
The 6-foot, 190-pounder also had offers from all the service academies — Army, Navy and Air Force — in addition to North Carolina.
“They have been recruiting him for a long time,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said about Georgia Tech. “And I know he’s been down there several times.”
Hockman also said he believed getting the opportunity to play close to home was big for Griffin.
“I think the local part was a huge benefit,” he said. “It gives him a chance for his family and friends to see him play. And his brother (former North Cobb defensive end Tre Griffin) is down at Georgia Southern. That will give him the opportunity to go see him play on off weeks.”
Griffin said he was unsure of whether the Yellow Jackets’ coaching staff will ask him to redshirt, or whether they will be expecting him to try to contribute to the team as a freshman.
Griffin will have some company on the depth chart if he expects to play quarterback. Vad Lee is projected to start in 2013, while former Hillgrove standout Synjyn Days split time between the quarterback and A-back positions during the 2012 season. There are also four other quarterbacks on the roster, including former Pope standout Holland Frost.
In addition, Georgia Tech has one other quarterback in their 2013 recruiting class, Damon Mitchell from Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Despite not having to throw the ball much during the 2012 season, Hockman said Griffin has a good chance to grow into the position at Georgia Tech.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Hockman said. “I think he has a big-time arm, and he’s that kind of kid that will pick things up. I know he can do it. He’ll work diligently at it.”
As Griffin became one player from Powder Springs to commit to Georgia Tech, another changed his mind.
Hillgrove cornerback Tolando Cleveland, who had been committed to the Yellow Jackets since the summer, changed his mind and decided to commit to Mississippi State.
“I think it’s just a great school,” Cleveland told BulldogBlitz.com, a recruiting website for Mississippi State.
Cleveland went on to say that the Bulldogs offer “a lot and they are a great football team and are in the SEC. They have a great campus and good coaches. It’s a beautiful campus and it just has a lot to offer.”
The 6-foot, 170-pound Cleveland had 58 tackles and two interceptions for Hillgrove. He had offers from Air Force, Ball State, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Navy, Rice and Utah State among others.x