With National Signing Day right around the corner, several of the nation’s top prospects are nearing final decisions in advance of officially signing their letters-of-intent on Wednesday.
Today, experts from the Rivals.com network examine where five-star Mission Viejo, Calif., defensive back Olaijah Griffin will end up playing his college football in advance of his National Signing Day announcement. The candidates are Oregon, Tennessee and USC.
The son of West Coast gangsta rapper Warren G, Griffin has had to work hard to carve a name out for himself in the football world. But since de-committing from UCLA in December and putting up a stellar performance on the all-star circuit, he has seen his stock skyrocket. Over the past six weeks, Griffin has taken official visits to Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and USC, with each program giving its best pitch.
So which school will he pick? We asked our team experts to state the case for their respective programs and let National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell issue a verdict.
THE CASE FOR OREGON
“Olaijah Griffin is a player everybody would want on their team and the Oregon Ducks are no exception. Two weeks ago he was in Eugene for an official visit showing his serious interest in the program. But in the end, we doubt he will become a Duck, as they seem to be his Pac-12 runner up school behind USC. With four DBs currently committed to its 2018 class, Oregon has filled its 2018 target for the unit, and will have to be satisfied with that.” – A.J. Jacobson, DuckSportsAuthority.com
THE CASE FOR TENNESSEE
“Tennessee held a lot of momentum in Griffin's recruitment coming out of his official visit with the Vols in December. The five-star corner quickly bonded with Jeremy Pruitt and corner coach Terry Fair, he loved Knoxville and he saw an opportunity to play immediately on a depth chart lacking impact corners. Griffin even told VolQuest.com down at the Under Armour All-America Game that the Vols held "a big lead" in his recruitment. Time has not been in Tennessee's favor, though. The Vols have made several visits out to California to see Griffin but their confidence in landing him has waned, especially in the last week. I expect Griffin to stay home and play for the Trojans.” – Jesse Simonton, Volquest.com
THE CASE FOR USC
"USC remains very much in the picture for Griffin. He took a visit to campus in recent weeks and it went really well plus there are some close to him that would prefer if he stayed closer to home and played for the Trojans. There is that part of the picture. The other part is that the new five-star cornerback is very serious about playing in the SEC and he's highly intrigued by Alabama and Tennessee. I'm not certain Griffin has fully decided on where he's going to play yet and with no visit planned for this weekend he'll have some time to work it out and make his determination." – Adam Gorney, West Recruiting Analyst, Rivals.com
“I’m going to say he stays home at USC despite his interest in Tennessee. It’s just a hunch as he seems very high on the Vols and playing in the SEC but more often than not West Coast kids stay home so I’ll go with the percentages here.” – Farrell