Being born into a family of successful athletes is often a curse for aspiring competitors, but Rome (Ga.) sophomore running back Jamious Griffin does not see it that way. Griffin, the youngest of four boys, uses the accomplishments of his older siblings as motivation to reach his own heights.
“My three brothers and Adrian Peterson,” Griffin said of his role models. “I always looked up to my brothers and worked just as hard because I wanted to be just as good and even better. But one day my pops sent me a YouTube video of Peterson and that changed my life forever.”
Peterson is a record-setting running back who is known for his relentless work ethic and penchant for slicing up defenses with equal amounts of ferocity. Those are facets of Peterson’s game that Griffin hopes to embody, and early returns say he’s modeling his game well when compared to the Minnesota Vikings’ all-pro.
“Many say that I’m a baby Adrian Peterson,” Griffin said. “I run with bad intentions. My goal is to get yards and into the end zone on every carry. I run with great power and I am very explosive, quick and have great vision. The most complete all-around back you’ll see in class of 2019. From running the ball, spreading out and catching passes to throwing touchdown passes, I did it and that’s what I will do this year as well.”
Checking in at 5-foot-9 and 180-pounds, Griffin is beginning to hear from major Power Five programs on the recruiting trail on account of his impressive highlight tape. So far, he’s received interest from Florida State, NC State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Georgia. Griffin has already taken an unofficial visit to his home state in order to check out the Bulldogs’ campus, but the sophomore recruit is keeping a balanced approach to his recruitment.
“I’m still young, so I have time, “he said. “I talk to coaches on Twitter and also on visits. I always talk to coaches when going on visits with my older brothers, but I already know this season will be a crazy year for my recruiting.”
As far as which programs Griffin is most interested in, the talented running back, who picked up 14 touchdowns as a freshman, is not looking to limit any of his options just yet.
“All of them,” Griffin said. “Any opportunity is a great one. If they invest their time in me, I’m interested. There are lots of great school out there like Virginia Tech, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Oregon. I’m just waiting for my moment.”
And as far as which factors should weigh heavily in his recruitment, Griffin is concerned with the “education, tradition and chance to make an impact” as he decides which school to attend.
“Of course football is what we love, but life after football is most important,” he explained. “The coaches also play a big part.”
In terms of his sophomore campaign, Griffin has his sights set on bringing the first state championship in school history to Rome High School. In addition to that lofty benchmark, he would like to rush for over 1,500 yards and 25 touchdowns, both improvements on his initial marks.
His other goals, Griffin says, will take care of themselves.