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 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?
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 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?
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 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.
The GPP is now read in: 39 STATES: ALA, ARI, ARK, CA, COL, FLA, GA, HI, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MISS, MO, NEB, NEV, NC, NJ, NY, OH, ORE, PA, RI, SC, TEN, TEX, UTAH, VA, VER, WASH, WEST VA., WISC.
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.