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Kicking It Around with Jack Griffin

Jack Griffin, the new FIU freshman kicker, took sometime out in between Tuesday's workout and his classes to kick it here on the GPP.

JG -- who is the No. 3 kicker in Florida and No. 13 in the nation according to rivals.com -- did not start kicking until his freshman season at Naples St. John Neumann, but went from JV to Jgtacklesca_2 varsity in no time that season. JG was 6 of 8 in FGs in his junior season. He did not play his senior season, because of a back injury that has now healed. We've used JG's mug shot on previous blogs so here on the right is JG tackling on a kickoff return.

GPP: So how exactly did you get your start kicking a football?

JG: I was messing around with my buddies when I was on JV my freshman season and I started kicking some long kickoffs in front of the varsity coach. He saw that I was hitting them in the end zone and he had me tryout. I had played soccer since I was a little kid and I was kicking it farther than the other kids so I ended up in varsity that season.

GPP: So did you start hitting every field goal once you got the job on varsity or did it take a while?

Kb_2 JG: I kind of got the kicking pretty much off the bat, but it was a little difficult. So I got help from Brandon Kornblue, who used to kick at the University of Michigan and also kicked in the Arena League. He helped me a lot. My career long is 48 yards. I usually practice from 45 to 50 yards out. (JG won the Kornblue Kicking Challenge in 2007 making 14 of 16 field goals).

GPP: What did you think of your visit with the FIU coaching staff when they were recruiting you?

JG: The thing that stood out about the coaches was their mentality. They are all about getting after it. No one is slacking at FIU. You have to be on time for everything: class, weight training, meetings, everything. I like that a lot. That was really big for me when they were recruiting me.

GPP: You were at a few FIU home games this past season. What impression did your new teammates give you?

JG: I went to 3 or 4 games and what you saw with these guys is that they are a hardworking, up and coming team. I realized there is a lot of talent on this team and with each game that I saw everyone Fiustadiumaerial seemed to be getting better.

GPP: There is a chance you could be FIU's kicker and punter next season if Carlos Munera does not get an extra season from the NCAA for medical reasons and Chris Cook does not come back. How do you feel about that?

JG: I'm ready for whatever the team needs. Kicking has come natural for me and kicking on the FIU Stadium field turf will be amazing after having kicked on grass all my life. But I still have to work on my punting as far as the drop goes. Everything is timing with punting. I've hit a 65-yarder as my long punt.


FIUFPL: I heard from a friend that you can buy beer at the Stadium if you are an Alumni Association member. I thought it was only if you were a season ticket holder. Can you confirm which it is?

GPP: You can only buy booze at the Stadium Club and you have to either be a club seat holder or have Beer access to the club suites.

FIUBlueandGold: When you do the recruitment update for DBs/Athletes can you look into a kid from Doral Academy (Carlton Callender) has good size at 6'1" 185lbs and has offers from Colorado State, K-State, Louisville, Pitt, and West Virginia. I'd like to know if we are recruiting him ?? Also Phillip Thomas made the Herald 1st team DB, but I see that FIU has not offered him yet, is he still on Mario's radar ??

GPP: Will check them both out and let you know. I think FIU might be leaning more toward the Archbishop Carroll DBs in Corey Ammons and Terrance Taylor.

FIUcanesFan: It was I that triggered a vote from the DR. I started school here and miss FIU lots so I visit the blog often to stay up to date with fiu sports.

GPP: Thanks for your readership from the D.R. The GPP aims to reach FIU fans worldwide.

Fomenter: Heard West Virginia was down at MNW today speaking with Times, and also that he has a meeting set up with UF tomorrow. He seems more like a silent/soft commit than anything else right now. Have you heard the same?

GPP: Not surprised that there's a late push for WT. I spoke with the kid earlier today and he said "I'm ready to be a Panther in my own backyard". You can read the story here: FIU recruiting story Of course, nothing is official until Feb. 4.

Quijote: I don't like having four QBs duking it out seriously. What happened to all the potential Colt was bringing to the table. Seeing all these new QBs makes it seem that Mario has little faith in Colt, no? FWIW, saw a young lady with an FIU cap in Paris today, sporting the old FIU logo. Ironic considering how damn cold it is, most are wearing much more than a cap. Didn't get a chance to talk to her, but Paris_2 Cap was cool to see FIU love outside of South Florida.

GPP: Quijote, the more talent at a position, the better the competition. But let's see what GPP Nation thinks below. Nice Paris story and if that was you logging on from France voting that the FIU hoops season has been a big disappointment on our last poll question thanks for adding the City of Lights to our GPP Worldwide Readership. Glad to see Paris is catching on to FIU.



25 COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Venezuela, Vietnam.

1 DISTRICT: Washington, D.C. and 1 TERRITORY: Puerto Rico.


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Sounds like we have a good kicker in Griffin, hope he can be consistent and start right away.

What concerns me is using 4 scholarships for one position; shouldn't that be a concern? On another note, yesterday I went to Target, Kmart and Wal-Mart in search of a fan. I couldn’t help notice that each store was displaying/selling all the college merchandise and not one had any FIU stuff. They had UM (which is super understandable), FSU, UF, UCF, USF, ND, Duke????, etc. but not one had any FIU merchandise. This is disappointing considering FIU is MIAMI, more than what UM will ever be. They graduate more students than any other college in the area, by far, and guess what the actual graduates normally stay within the community to serve. How is it you have to normally go to FIU freaking bookstore to pick up an FIU chair, shirt, cap, etc., or go online and wait a week. I am hoping and will continue to hope that FIU does something about this. Placing merchandise out on the stores is a form of advertising, just like billboards, and probably even more affective. But what do I know.

kid sounds solid! and im glad that WT is saying that he cant wait to be a panther.. i was getting worried cause i hadnt seen it anywhere else but if you spoke w/ him thats great news!

FIU love i will say i have seen FIU stuff at sPorts Athuority and also there was a whole rack of things in champs


For what it is worth, Korvic neat was a solid FIU commit and said all the right things and was at all the home games until Ole Miss came knocking. So as Pete says it like Da Flavor Pantherade©

Pete as you can see I copyrighted it for you OK!

FIU Love,

I totaly agree with you about never finding anything with an FIU logo in any store. Just like FIU Love said you can find 10 different teams that are over 1000 miles away from the MIA, but the Golden Panther is no where to be found. I have been looking for things to buy for my 2 year old son, and its impossible. I told my wife I wanted new FIU gear for X-Mas and the only place she can find something was the bookstore. Very sad to always see that problem!

Some Sports Authority stores have FIU gear, I also think I've seen at Champs stores. But you are right, need to be in many retailers in South Florida.

Pete, like always great work with this blog. Seems like we got a kicker for the next 4 years!!!

Another thing, Wayne Times seems to be a great pickup. I saw State Championship game and he's a playmaker. Looking forward to seeing him play with T.Y., Junior Mertile, Ellison, Rolle, and receiving corps. I'm ready for next season!!!


i cant wait to see how our kicking game can improve with JG...... its all about being able to put points on the board when you have the chance.

The way I look at it is, it shouldn’t only be in sport stores like Champs or Sports Authority, it needs to be everywhere in Miami which is selling some sort of college athletic merchandise; even Sedanos which is a sponsor of FIU; they were selling the other day UM caps and shirts. I.e. CVS, BJs, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. If they are selling college stuff in Miami it should AUTOMATICALLY have FIU and UM wear; not the freaking fighting Irish or blue devils. And on a side note, EVERYONE goes to the stores mentioned above as examples; who goes to Sports Authority and Champs? I play sports and I never even go to those stores anymore, they are too out of my way. My point, FIU merchandise needs to be everywhere not just two franchise stores in all of Miami which really only have 2% of the market share of shoppers (if that). Put it this way, if those two stores are the only 2 that don’t carry FIU stuff, I’m ok with that.

FIU love.. im goin to have ot disagree w/you.. when it comes to buying my team gear... i would never buy anything at sedano's, CVS, BJ's, or Costco... i perfer my stuff Authentic lol target walmart yes ive bought things there. and of course the book store

Good blog, Pete...Also, a very nice story about our 3 new Golden Panthers on campus taking classes now....Also, good to see you including a quote from WT as our new commit, along with new "known" commit, Markeith Russell.

Pete, you mentioned 9 Dade County commitments so far, including Times and Russell. I count 8 so far, including 2 that were not included as All County...WR Jairus Williams(Central HS), and DB Derrick Jones, Jr (from Miami Springs). Who is the other Dade County commit?...Is Tourek Williams from Edison the other commitment?

Thanks, as usual....

I hope you guys keep Times, he seems to be a sleeper and with his stepfather being former Gator Lomas Brown,, who is trying to get UF to offer him, I feel a little trepidation. Good luck this recruiting year.

To expand on Fanatic's question, Is Tourek Williams being recruited as a TE or Linebacker, I hear he is a freak at LB/DE

I agree that we need more merch outside of the bookstore, Champs, and Sports Authority. I remember that Walmart used to have FIU gear. I have seen some really cute UF t-shirts for women, but I would like them of FIU, of course. But, I don't know how it works when it comes to getting FIU stuff at big stores like Target and Walmart.

Hey pete, do you know if mack has also enrolled for this semester???

Thanks....one step at a time...I read that too, over at UM's board, Fomenter. Regardless of that, he came on strong with him commitment, at least publicly, to FIU. At the stage we are on right now, that's good enough for me...Hopefully, he stays with FIU until he ultimately signs with FIU on February 4th.

Larvez Mars has finally seen the flood gates open with offers....not surprising after he had a good game in the Army All Star game last weekend. At least Mario was the 1st to offer him and he's waited all season to see love from some of the other schools.

***We need to sign him, this kid can play right away. 5'11" 205 lbs and growing, Sean Spence clone. He would be our first 4 star recruit.

Make it happen Mario !!!

Great news to finally have a D-1 placekicker at FIU. Hopefully the days of missing exra points and chip shot field goals are over. Welcome, Mr. Griffin!

Congrats to Wayne Times for committing to FIU today. I didnt know his stepfather is my fraternity brother Lomas Brown.

Welcome to FIU Wayne, where you can get a great education, star on the football field and join a great Phi Beta Sigma chapter.

Good job getting these recruits, Mario! Keep up the good work!

Welcome to FIU, Mr. Times! You won't regret your decision!


Times is a great get and im excited for him .. btw Manny navaro did a pretty good job on the countdown w/ larry B. talkin about FIU football. thre they talked about WT and other FIU Commits.. MC keep up the good work ! get us some more starts in the making.

That was a good interview about recruiting by Manny Navarro with Larry Blustein. I call it how I see it, and both were very nice and complimentary towards Mario and FIU. Thanks to Manny are in order today!

Pete, was just looking over future football schedules and I remembered, don't we owe Maryland another game over there? I remember reading that FIU would play them again in 2010. Was that game canceled? I was looking forward to going to DC for that one.

Interesting article concerning anti-trust challenges around the BCS system in the MH today. The BCS discriminates against division 1 schools not in a designated BCS conference (FIU included). I wish the Utah Attorney General luck.

the NC should not be deicided in the courtroom it should be decided on the field.. although i dont think the current system is the best i do think that its the one out there.. if UTah wants to go to the NC game.. schedule a tough OOC schedule.. and destroy your Conf. Schedule. if Non- BCS teams what to go to the NC game.. right now thats the only way of doing it.. hopefully it will change and use the BCS system right now to set up a Tourney.. have the Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Rose as your opening Quarterfinal round .. then select 2 more cities to host the the semi Final and then host the NC game in one of the original 4 venues... same rotation system they have now

I have to agree with CJ. If the government gets involved and slaps the NCAA in the face with any form of legislation, the NCAA's first move would be to eliminate a lot of conferences from division 1. They would do this by enforcing certain rules such as attendance, etc. and would eliminate a lot of schools that, although in a conference, aren't in a major conference like the ACC, Pac-10, Big 10, SEC and so forth.

Remember, by eliminate I mean bust down a division.

Teams like Boise, Utah, and on would be eliminated (I'm sure this would force Notre Dame to join a conference though, most likely the Big East due to their basketball ties). The mid-majors do not want that to happen.

There is a playoff in all other NCAA sports. This is all about the bloody Benjamin$$$$

How many teams were so overrated before and during the season. The polls are friggin joke.

I guarantee you that if Utah was a major sports media market the AP poll would vote them #1, all of this is just subjective. Had Utah started the year ranked inside the top 10, how do you keep 'em out this so called title game ? You can't ??

But every year the non-BCS powers are always swimming uphill in the polls. They better be ranked top 5 going into next season.



Most back problems just don't go away. A kicker who didn't even kick his senior year. if this kids back fails again guess who will be kicking again.

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