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Rocko Griffin: “One Step Away From Greatness”

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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As a freshman Griffin garnered Second Team All-Region honors as a running back at Savannah (Ga.) Savannah Christian.

“We all know he has phenomenal potential with great top end speed, superior agility and he’s powerful."
~Head Coach Mark Stroud

After a year at Swainsboro (Ga.) Coach Mark Stroud was back roaming the sidelines for Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day. Not much changed in 2017 for the Cavaliers as they continued their dominance on the gridiron finishing the season (10-3/5-0) with an appearance in the State Quarterfinals. Over the last five seasons the Cavs’ have only fallen to the loss column once in region play.

The future continues to look bright for Savannah (Ga.) Calvary Day football as they return impact seniors D’Quan Douse, Jalen Leary and Sayyid Stevens. Leary led the Cavaliers with 1,627 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns while Douse and Stevens applied the defensive pressure combining for an amazing 49 TFL’s and 19 sacks. Douse already has 16 DI offers while Stevens is nearing the double digit mark.

One of the top underclassmen that Coach Stroud will be counting on this fall is 5-foot-9, 175 athlete William “Rocko” Griffin. Last season Griffin played in just six full quarters of action due to injury. He was still able to manage 135 yards rushing on 21 carries while catching a 29-yard touchdown pass before his season was shut down. As a freshman Griffin garnered Second Team All-Region honors as a running back at Savannah (Ga.) Savannah Christian.

“We all know he has phenomenal potential with great top end speed, superior agility and he’s powerful,” Stroud said of Griffin. “If he can stay healthy he’ll be a major impact player for us and possibly one of the top overall players in the Greater Savannah Area.”

Early in his football career Griffin was able to compete in two prestigious youth all-star games. As a seventh grader he took part in the Future Stars at IMG Academy where he worked at free safety. As an eighth grader he took his talents to AT&T Stadium in Dallas as a running back in USA Football’s premier extravaganza.

Griffin has already made a splash on the camp circuit this spring. At the annual ESPFC Football camp he not only won Overall MVP, but showed off his elite speed earning Fastest Man with a 4.46-40.  Just last Sunday Griffin had a standout performance at the Under Armour Camp held in Charlotte, North Carolina where he proved to be impossible for linebackers to cover one-on-one.

Without a plethora of sophomore film, Griffin has yet to attract any offers this spring. There are two colleges showing sincere interest in his talents and they are Rutgers and South Carolina. Alabama also showed early interest in his talents, even throwing out a verbal offer last June, but his position coach has since left for the NFL.

“I was able to make unofficial visits to both Clemson and Duke last summer,” Griffin said. “This past month I attended the Gamecocks Spring Game and I really enjoyed the whole experience. Right now I plan on hitting Rutgers one-day camp on June, 9 and I am definitely headed back to Columbia, South Carolina for a camp.”

Griffin holds a solid 3.4 overall GPA and hopes to take the SAT and ACT during his junior year. He is also a monster in the weight room with a 245-pound max bench press, 375-pound squat and 225-pound power clean.

“College recruiters need to know that his is a very likeable and respectful kid that handles himself well in the classroom,” Stroud said. “He has all the physical tools; we are just waiting for him to get fully healthy in order to show off his talents. He has everything in his corner to become a great player; once he puts it all together he will explode on the recruiting scene.”

Calvary Day is not having a traditional spring practice, which means there will be no spring game in May for Griffin to show off his talents. But, they are doing combine testing and while competing for the annual Calvary Iron Man Awards from May 14 through May 18.

This should be the week that most college recruiters make their visit to eyeball the Cavalier talent.

For Griffin it’s all about getting ready for the upcoming season and reaching the State Championship game in 2018.

“My personal goals are to continue to push myself in the classroom and on the field,” Griffin said. “I have to show everyone what kind of running back I can become and that means running great routes, catching everything thrown my way and just running hard on every play.”

It’s not just about individual goals, but being the best teammate possible that lights a fire under Griffin’s football spirit.

“I have to be a good teammate, it’s all about team chemistry and communication on and off the field,” Griffin said. “Communicating well with my teammates and coaches is very important because that is how Championships are built.”

This fall look for Griffin not only to play running back, but to line up in the slot as well as playing some defensive back. Coach Stroud admits that Griffin is the type of athlete that has to touch the ball on a regular basis. Don’t be surprised to see this superlative speedster line up in the Wildcat formation.  He is only one step away from pay dirt every time he touches the rock.