Sun Valley's Griffiths gets two FBS offers in one day
Sun Valley rising senior Tyler Griffiths was minutes removed from a dominant showing at N.C. State’s special teams camp on Thursday. His ability to long snap was so proficient and precise that Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren called Griffiths up to his roomy office and offered him the chance to join the program.
The offer was for a preferred walk-on spot as a freshman, with a full scholarship for his final three years. For Griffiths, it seemed like life couldn’t get any better.
Fifteen minutes later, it did.
After a walk around the facilities, Griffiths (6-2, 220 pounds) made a phone call. He hung up, then noticed a direct message on Twitter: from Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino.
“It was a message to call him, so I did,” Griffiths said. “That’s when he offered me a full ride for four years. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I really couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. After I hung up, I didn’t say anything for a while. Then when it sunk in, I couldn’t sit still. I had to move around.”
Petrino returned to Louisville in the offseason, coming back to the school he led to an Orange Bowl victory over Wake Forest in 2007. He most recently had a 34-17 record in four years at Arkansas, and in between his time at those two college programs was coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
Yes, a former NFL head coach personally offered a Union County athlete a college scholarship.
“Again, it was just incredible,” Griffiths said. “Now, N.C. State gave me all that they could give me. They said if they could do four years, they would. That’s the best they can do, and I understand. I’m still interested in them.”
Getting an offer from one FBS program — much less two in the same day — was the goal for Griffiths when he began getting instruction from Chris Rubio, who runs camps for long snappers with the goal of getting them college opportunities.
Griffiths has risen through the ranks there, too. Rubio’s personal rankings list Griffiths as No. 10 in the country at his position.
“Tyler is built very well and passes the eyeball test quickly for a college coach,” Rubio wrote on his Web site. “He is snapping with good speed, accuracy and confidence. Love the way he is thinking right now.”
Getting a pair of offers won’t stop Griffiths from completing a summer tour that rivals that of a touring rock band. He’s already been to camps at Cincinnati, the University of Kentucky, Louisville, Eastern Kentucky University, N.C. State and Georgia.
He drove to Clemson on Friday for a camp, then followed that up for a day session at Chapel Hill. This week, he’s flying to Los Angeles — by himself — to attend Rubio’s Top 12 camp, a prestigious invitation-only exhibit.
After he gets back from California, Griffiths will attend camps at East Carolina and South Carolina.
“I’ve always been a decent football player, but at one point I kind of realized I wasn’t big enough to play another position at the Division I level,” Griffiths said. “I had snapped in middle school and on JV, and I realized was good at it. So I started going to Chris Rubio’s camp, and he trained me into what I am right now.
“I’m getting recruited by a number of schools and feel like I’ll get a couple more offers this summer, but it sure is nice getting the first ones on the table. It’s an honor. I’ve got my college education paid for me, no matter what. That’s the most important thing.”