The rise of Sam Griffin

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM
GOBEARCATSDOTCOM

GOBEARCATSDOTCOM

Sept. 4, 2009

(10:58 a.m.): When UC junior offensive tackle Sam Griffin first arrived at UC, he weighed between 210-220 pounds and the coaching staff wasn’t exactly sure where to play him.

The Bearcats could 1) put massive bulk on him and throw him on the offensive line; 2) slowly increase his weight and use him on the defensive line; or 3) keep him around the same weight and have him compete for a tight end spot.

They had signed Griffin because he was 6-foot-5 and he had the potential to play in a variety of positions. They liked his ability to grow. But before his freshman year, there was still a question as to what position group the coaches should assign him.

“We didn’t know if he was going to be a tight end, defensive lineman or an offensive lineman,” BK said. “We knew we were going to get him bigger, faster and stronger. We took him as a profile guy, 6-foot-5, 210 pounds and he was a quick end in high school – a pass-rushing kind of guy. We just weren’t sure. We had a tall, lanky athletic kid that loved to play and compete.”

Now a junior, Griffin, for his part, said he thought he’d be playing defense by now (many schools didn’t offer him a scholarship because he wasn’t heavy enough), but after playing two games on the offensive line as a true freshman in 2007, that’s where he fit. He participated in five games last season – making the start at right tackle vs. Eastern Kentucky – and he gained nearly 30 pounds from last year to today. When UC takes the field Monday vs. Rutgers, Griffin will trot out as the starting right tackle.

Now, he weighs nearly 280 pounds. Now, he knows where he’s meant to be.

“It was a process,” Griffin said. “I just took it really a pound at a time. That was the work. It was, ‘Just work on gaining five pounds this week.’ I didn’t want it to be soft weight. I took it slow. I tried to gain as much weight as possible, but good, solid weight.”

 

 

Making life more difficult for Griffin was his speedy metabolism.

“There was a lot of eating and eating and eating, but conditioning myself also,” Griffin said. “Eating all that food doesn’t really bother me all that much, but I wish I could throw on like 30 pounds. I would gain 15 and lose 10 and gain 15 more and lose 10. It was in five-pound increments.”

Griffin began the season as No. 2 on the right tackle depth chart behind Alex Hoffman, but that quickly changed (Hoffman has since moved to the No. 1 right guard) during training camp. Griffin underwent knee surgery during spring practice, which left him a little behind, but after a solid performance in the spring game, he’s transformed that positive energy into the fall and won a starting job.

“The first few days out here, it was kind of rough for me, getting used to having that much weight,” Griffin said. “This is as big as I’ve ever been in my life. But I still have the great footwork, and I’m using a lot of my quickness and speed to engage in blocks and using a lot of my strength to stay engaged in the blocks throughout the play. I don’t feel like I’ve changed.”

  • It sounds like senior Jacob Ramsey will start at running back for the Rutgers game, but sophomore Isaiah Pead and redshirt freshman Darrin Williams are close behind. For now, don’t expect junior John Goebel – who’s been bothered this training camp with a hamstring injury – to receive much playing time.

    “You start with Jake Ramsey, because he’s the guy that gives us a little bit of everything,” BK said. “Maybe he doesn’t give you the explosive running. But he gives you the blocking, catching the ball out of the backfield, understanding all the protections. Then, I think Pead and Darrin Williams are guys who have a little more electric action to them. They can make big plays.”

    But what about playing four running backs in the rotation? That, BK said, is going to be tough.

    “You can play multiple backs,” he said. “Whether we can get to four and have enough touches for all them, I don’t know if we can do that. I know we can play more than two backs. Three seems to be manageable. Four could be pushing it.”

     

  • This is a cool story by Brian Bennett of espn.com on how UC is using the latest video game technology to help prepare for its opponents. Even video coordinator John Sells gets some love.
    • Cincinnati Enquirer

      Gunner Kiel impresses at UC football's spring game

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Youthful UC can make its own history next season

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC's defense makes statement in latest scrimmage

      FanIQ.com

      Remember Gunner Kiel? He's Ready to Dominate

      SportsIllustrated.com

      Hank Hughes Q&A

      New York Times

      Growing as a Player, Beaming as a Father

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      NCAA Tournament is 'Cincinnati vs. the world'

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Kiel comes out strong in Bearcats' spring scrimmage

      Sporting News

      2013-14 Men's Basketball All-Americans

      Fox Sports

      Cincinnati made me a believer

      CBS Sports.com

      Former redshirt Sean Kilpatrick finishing out historic career

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Q&A with UC AD Mike Bohn

      ESPN

      Brennan's Wooden Watch: Week 14

      MLSSoccer.com

      Fit and healthy, Omar Cummings offering a new dynamic up top for Houston Dynamo

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Men's soccer signee Clark named Gatorade Ohio player of the year

      ESPN

      Munchie Legaux and Shaq Washington gain extra year

      Denver Post

      Mike Bohn eager to point Cincinnati Bearcats in right direction as AD

      The Washington Post

      No. 7 Bearcats have highest ranking in 10 years

      Yahoo! Sports

      How Sean Kilpatrick willed UC past Louisville and back into the nation's consciousness

      SI.com

      Cincinnati takes over AAC with win at Louisville

      ESPN.com

      Tough Bearcats don't get rattled

      ESPN.com

      UC staves off Temple to stay perfect in AAC

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC looks to 15-year sports admin vet Reed-Francois for interim AD

      CBS Sports

      No. 15 Cincinnati stomps UCF, wins 11th straight

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats take down USF 61-54, win 10th straight

      USA Today

      Why Cincinnati is not a team to sleep on

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Short-handed Bearcats cautious about ranking

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC's goal: win them all at home

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Cronin: Not easy, but Cats got through fatigue

      The News Record

      What you missed in UC sports during break

      FB Schedules

      Boise State, Cincinnati Schedules 2019, 20 Home-and-Home Series

      Forbes

      The Best and Worst College Football Teams for the Money

      USA Today

      Report: Colleges doing poorly at hiring women coaches

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Randolph named AAC Player of the Week

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC women's basketball knocks off Ohio State

      Bleacher Report

      Belk Bowl 2013: Cincinnati-North Carolina

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Belk Bowl: UC vs. UNC

      ESPN

      Belk Bowl Breakdown

      BelkBowl.com

      The Showdown is Set

      ESPN

      Cards, Bearcats set for defensive battle

      CBS Sports

      Louisville-Cincinnati Preview

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Thursday is UC's fight for perception

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Don't let UC's next opponent fool you

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC jumps to No. 23 in USA Today football poll

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats break into USA Today Top 25

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      McKay turns in monster game against Rutgers

      ESPN

      Kay throws for 408 yards, 4 TDs as Cincinnati routs Rutgers

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats won't lessen the pressure

      News & Record

      Pressure takes toll on NC State against Cincinnati

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats face variety of bowl scenarios

      The News Record

      UC weary of SMU's aerial attack ahead of AAC clash

      Bleacher Report

      Best College Football Moments in Cincinnati History

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Mark Barr returns to UC, gets ovation

      HoustonDynamo.com

      After frustrating year, Omar Cummings puts Houston Dynamo on his back with clutch playoff goal

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC's Shaq Thomas 'our version of Herb Jones'

      USA Today

      Cincinnati holds off Memphis for third straight

      ESPN

      Cincinnati's Mark Barr out of hospital

      TopDrawer Soccer

      Furman and Cincinnati men go nose-for-nose in College Goal of the Week

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Green seizing his moment for the Bearcats

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats' Jermaine Lawrence is new breed of forward

      UC Magazine

      Hostility to Hope: Feature on Men's Soccer Player John Manga

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats' Jermiah Davis III fights to be remembered

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats' Justin Jackson goes from energizer to example

      The News Record

      Cronin excited for new group

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      UC Bearcats' Sean Kilpatrick: 'It's the season now'

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats basketball will have fresh look

      The News Record

      UC Looks to RetainVictory Bell for Eighth Consecutive Season

      Miami Herald

      Kay Ready to Lead Bearcats into Rivalry Game

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Former Bearcat Thompkins making most of shot in NFL

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      New practice setup could benefit UC basketball

      ESPN.com

      Munchie Legaux out for season

      ESPN.com

      Cincinnati Rolls Past Purdue

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Bearcats defense puts up dominant effort

      American Athletic Conference

      2013 Team Previews: Cincinnati Bearcats

      Sports Illustrated

      Bowl projections: Cincinnati vs. North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl

      Cincinnati Business Courier

      Bearcats sell out football opener against Purdue

      Cincinnati Enquirer

      Depth at defensive line still strong for Bearcats

      Bleacher Report

      Cincinnati Bearcats Football 2013 Team Preview

      UC Voted 2nd

      Coach Tuberville and his players discuss their reactions to being voted to finish 2nd in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference

      QB Timetable

      Coach Tuberville discusses his timetable to choose a starting QB with The Cincinnati Enquirer

      Thompkins at Patriots' Training Camp

      Former UC wide receiver, Kenbrell Thompkins, impressed many at Patriots' training camp 

      World University Games

      Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas

      World University Games

      Sean Kilpatrick talks about his experience overseas 

      Nippert Renovation Plan

      The Cincinnati Enquirer looks at the Nippert Stadium Project

      Cincinnati football's 'Crocodile Dundee'

      A former professional rugby player from Australia joins the Bearcat football team

      2013 Preseason 'Watch List' 

      Several Cincinnati Bearcats make 2013 national 'watch list'

      Sports Insider Today

      Young Cincinnati Team Looks to Improve in 2013 Amidst New Conference Setting

      ESPN Blog

      Cincinnati to play Pitt in December

      GoBEARCATS.com

      Former Bearcat Herman Qualifies for U.S. Open

      USA Today

      BearcatsTV Gets National Attention from USA Today's For the Win

      SportingNews.com

      Cincinnati Bearcats Baseball Earns Top Honors in Videobombing

      The Washington Post

      Cincinnati Bearcats Do the Best Postgame Interviews

      Fox Sports

      Bearcats Rock Postgame Interviews

      Philly.com

      Cincinnati Bearcats Revolutionize the Post Game Interview

      YardBarker

      You'll love this Cincinnati Bearcats Post Game Funny Business Compilation

      Philly.com

      Those guys having all the fun: An oral history of the Cincinnati baseball team's videobombs

      MSN Now

      This college baseball team wins the 'best interview' award

      ESPN.com

      Winn, Cincinnati run over Pittsburgh

      Cincinnati.com Bearcats Blog

      Cincinnati looks to sophomore RB Ralph Abernathy to increase production