Duck hunt: Griffin picks Oregon
by Michael Foster
MDJ Sports Correspondent
April 25, 2014 04:00 AM | 3218 views | 1 1 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Taj Griffin committed to Oregon, setting up a future rivalry with his Southern Cal-bound McEachern teammate, Chuma Edoga.
<Br>Special photo by Laura Moon
Taj Griffin committed to Oregon, setting up a future rivalry with his Southern Cal-bound McEachern teammate, Chuma Edoga.
Special photo by Laura Moon
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There’s a Pac-12 rivalry brewing in Powder Springs.

Some preliminary trash talk might have given Taj Griffin’s college plans away, as the McEachern tailback exchanged Twitter barbs Thursday night with Indians teammate Chuma Edoga, who committed to Southern California earlier in the week.

Griffin, a rising senior and five-star recruit billed by 247Sports as the nation’s best all-purpose back in the class of 2015, tweeted that he would be suiting up for one of the biggest rivals of Edoga and his future Trojan teammates.

“I’ve decided to take my talents to the west coast and officially commit to University of Oregon,” Griffin tweeted.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound speedster narrowed his choices down to Oregon, Clemson and in-state suitor Georgia. He said he felt like his style of play — namely his quickness and acceleration — made him a perfect fit for Oregon’s up-tempo offensive system.

“Working in the open space is a great way to use my talents,” Griffin told the MDJ Thursday night.

Griffin became the third Division I commitment in his family. One older brother, Ty, is a redshirt freshman quarterback at Georgia Tech. The other, Tre, is a sophomore tight end at Georgia Southern.

Taj Griffin ran for 996 yards and eight touchdowns last season, while also making plays as a return man late in the season. While his numbers weren’t quite through the roof, he showed enough on tape to earn high rankings from the likes of 247Sports, which ranks him as the No. 50 overall prospect in the country.

Griffin insisted the lure to Oregon was more than the opportunities he will see on the football field.

“Really, I built a great relationship with the coaching staff. They have great facilities, and just the overall package was great,” he said.

Griffin earned first-team all-county honors and was an honorable-mention all-state in 2013, after combining with dual-threat quarterback Ty Clemons to create a one-two punch that helped McEachern to the Class AAAAAA semifinals.

With his college decision now in the books, Griffin plans to focus his attention on taking McEachern on next step in the state playoffs.

“It’s good to have this out of the way so I can focus on the upcoming season,” Griffin said. “Hopefully, we can get that ring.”

As far as any beefs he might have with his Edoga, his future conference rival, Griffin said that their banter has been friendly. Considering Edoga is considered one of the best offensive tackles in the country, it might be advised for the two to keep the USC-Oregon rivalry out of mention for at least another year.

“Yeah, I guess you can say we’ve been having some fun,” Griffin said. “We’ve been messing around.”
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April 25, 2014
Actual Stats were 1,194 yards rushing and nine touchdowns in 14 games on a high ankle sprain received in the preseason scrimmage. Didn't make it back to 80 plus percent until game 9 or 10.
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