It's rare for a recruit of Kelsey Griffin's caliber to have to settle for his second choice, but now that the smoke has cleared, the Under Armour All-American has signed with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The 6'2, 290-pounder is a consensus four-star recruit, considered among the top 10 of defensive tackles in the nation -- Rivals ranks him as highly as No. 7 at the position and No. 120 among all players.
SB Nation's recruiting analyst Bud Elliott said after Griffin's commitment to South Carolina that he brings "excellent quickness" for what teams expect out of the position. Besides South Carolina, he had offers from Florida, Florida State, Ole Miss -- and Georgia, but that's a long story.
Griffin's recruitment was a bit of a strange one. The Hoschton, Ga., native had always favored the University of Georgia and in September committed to Georgia, amid fanfare and TV cameras. However, that hit a snag. It turns out Georgia wasn't as interested in Griffin as he was in them, so it didn't accept his commitment.
Although Griffin is a highly touted defensive tackle, at only 290 pounds, he isn't the size of the nose tackles like NFL-bound linemen John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers that the Bulldogs favor in their 3-4 defense. Once again uncommitted, Griffin regrouped and committed to South Carolina. Here's what South Carolina blog Garnet and Black Attack had to write about the mix-up after they landed Griffin:
Frankly, it's hard to say whether UGA made the right decision here--on the one hand, they're looking for a certain type of player at defensive tackle, but on the other hand, I wonder how much they can afford to alienate local coaches, particularly considering the inroads programs like Carolina and Clemson are making in Georgia's old stomping grounds. In any event, their loss is our gain.
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