Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds was loaded last year and had nine players sign with Div I colleges and included in that group were three players ranked among the top 100 recruits in the nation. The Warriors will have a strong group once again this year and the schools top recruit, running back Willie Griffin, just picked up his first scholarship offer.
Griffin, 5-9, 195 pounds will be one of the top running back recruits in the West region next season if not the entire country. He's a power back who loves to run between the tackles but has the speed to bounce it outside when needed.
"Willie has a good burst and is very strong," Warrior coach Alonzo Carter said. "He has real strong legs and is a banger and a downhill runner all the way. I kind of compare him to Maurice Drew or Kenny Ashley in terms of his size and running style. He's not as fast as Drew, Willie is not a burner but more in that mid 4.5 range, but he has those big, strong legs and just punishes people.
"We had three kids last season, Derrick Hill, Joshua Tatum and NaDerris Ward, who were top 100 kids nationally and I would put Willie in the same class as them. He had to share time with two other backs who went over 1,000 yards last season, but Willie still had almost 900 yards on the ground and scored 15 touchdowns for us."
On the recruiting front, Griffin is hearing from schools all over the nation and just received his first offer earlier today.
"I got an offer from Washington," Griffin said. "I was really excited because even though they're rebuilding right now, Washington is a school that I've liked for awhile. I like Coach Willingham a lot and I'm definitely going to be paying a lot more attention to Washington now. The offer kind of motivates me to start doing some research on them so I can learn more about the program.
"Right now, my top three schools are USC, Cal and Washington and I also like Michigan a lot, Oregon, Miami and Penn State. I'm hearing from all of those schools, Tennessee too. Just about all of the Pac 10 is recruiting me plus those schools I just named outside of the Pac 10 and I have no problem leaving home if it's the best situation for me.
"The main things I'm looking for is a school that is a good fit for me academically, a place with a strong football program and where I'm going to be comfortable living on my own for the next four years of my life. I plan to take all five of my trips and I'm not going to be making an early commitment anywhere."
Griffin said he's going to be attending USC's Junior Day in April and will also camp with Cal as well as the NorCal Nike Camp in May.