January 2, 2013
Griffin eager to resume football career
The layoff from wearing football gear extends into its 14th month for Kiante' Griffin. Frankly, he's getting tired of it.
Originally a member of the 2012 class, the Lewisville Hebron star athlete had to go through summer school and then accepted Baylor's grey shirt. That meant Griffin wasn't enrolled on the Baylor campus and had to wait until this coming spring semester before coming to Waco.
The wait ends next Friday (Jan. 11) when Griffin will be on campus and preparing for the spring semester that starts on Jan. 14. Because of corporate policy, Rivals doesn't recognize grey shirts. However, Griffin will be considered a member of the 2013 class.
"It was hard and it was long,'' Griffin said of the wait. "I didn't like being shut out. But I talked to the coaches every day. I just need to be on the field.''
Really, Griffin and Baylor didn't have much choice since both sides wanted to maintain the relationship. Griffin finished summer school in late July, which was about the drop dead time for the NCAA Clearinghouse to permit student-athletes to enroll for the fall semester.
Griffin said he wasn't cleared until October. As a grey shirt, his eligibility does not start until he enrolls. He has five years to play four and has a redshirt available if need be. He could have taken a couple of junior college courses last fall - as long as he was not considered a full-time student -- but chose not to. There was some talk with Navarro College and Marshall University in the late summer, but when Griffin told those coaching staffs what he was doing, each moved on.
Instead, Griffin worked a couple days a week stocking shelves in a clothing store. But he also spent a good portion working with his little league football coach George Adams - father of 2014 star defensive back Jamal Adams -- maintaining and improving his speed and explosiveness.
"I really did a lot with my lower body to get faster,'' said Griffin who hasn't had his 40 timed in more than a year. "I did a little work at Deon Sanders' school (Prime Prep), but most of it was with George. We did a lot of squat and cone drills and ran a lot of routes. Everything was done like a hurry-up because of the offense Baylor runs. I did as much as I could to be ready.''
You might remember that Griffin spent most of his 2011 season playing on defense for the Hawks so he had limited chances on offense, which is what the Baylor coaches crave. He's grown a little since. He's nearly 6-2 and weighs 205. That's about the size of the graduated Terrance Williams.
Griffin's journey from when he committed in April 2011 to next Friday is well known because of the academic challenges he faced. But the coaching stuff stuck with him.
There's an adjustment period he faces. It starts with spring ball. Baylor hasn't announced when that will be.
"Really, that's going to be a time for me to prove myself,'' Griffin said. "I feel like I'm all talk because I haven't shown anything to anybody. I'm ready to go do it.''
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