For Fresno area recruit DeMarcus Griffin, it was a moment he’ll never forget: getting the call Sunday night from Southern Mississippi defensive line coach Derek Nicholson, telling Griffin he would be giving him his first collegiate scholarship offer.
It was an emotional night at the Griffin house, as he recalls relaying the news to his family. “I told my grandma. She was crying.”
The unranked athlete told me that the offer cements Southern Mississippi at no. 1 on his list of schools, with several Mountain West schools close behind.
The incoming class of 2019 junior has been in frequent contact with his no. 2 school, San Jose State, and has visited twice, making the two hours and a half trip west to tour their facilities and meet the coaches on April 18 and May 1 of this year. He believes they are close to offering him. He has been talking with offensive coordinator and o-line coach Charlie Roche, who has visited his high school and recruits the Central Valley area. He said he likes their program and doesn't think they have a receiver with his speed, and that he could bring that to them.
Interestingly, Griffin does not share the same passion for his hometown school, Fresno State as they do for him. The two have been in contact and the coaching staff is willing to allow him to choose between playing both sides of the ball, either cornerback or receiver. However, he isn’t crazy about the idea of staying at home for college. He attends Washington Union high school, just a 15-minute drive south of the Fresno State campus.
“To me, I want to get out of Fresno,” Griffin told me. He wants to leave the Fresno area and preferably go to school in the Los Angeles area. He later confirmed that if offered, Fresno would not be his first choice.
His coaches are pretty well connected to the Wyoming program as well, as he says multiple Wyoming coaches are impressed with his intangibles.
“I like their tradition with the football program and majors for school,” Griffin said, discussing his feelings for Wyoming.
His first offer from Southern Miss was a bit of a surprise to him, as he had only been corresponding with Nicholson via email for around two weeks. Griffin remarked that once he started getting a lot of interest from various schools, the Golden Eagles wanted to take advantage, and extended an offer to him.
He said he sees himself playing at Southern Miss, and expects to take an unofficial visit at some point. They, like Fresno State, are offering Griffin the chance to play on both sides of the ball, and rightfully so. According to Griffin, he is the only player from Washington Union receiving interest and who holds an offer from Southern Mississippi.
According to Scout.com, Griffin is one of the only California recruits that Southern Miss is pursuing in the class of 2019.
The 5’9,” 170-pound Griffin, who prefers to play cornerback, is a speedster and ridiculously shifty, which makes him an ideal fit to play so many positions, that include returner, receiver, and situational quarterback and linebacker.
Griffin is also being looked at by Texas State, Iowa State, and Oregon. Iowa State defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald likes his speed, and Oregon coaches like his skill sets as well, as they would like to host him for some of their camps.
By all means, the sophomore’s recruitment is not limited to an offer from Southern Mississippi. Expect others to start rolling in once the summer camp circuit starts, including a handful from Mountain West schools. MW schools should be quick to target Griffin, as his recruitment could blow by just as fast as he blows by defenders.