NCF On The Trail: Kelsey Griffin

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Georgia and South Carolina is quietly becoming one of the best rivalries in the SEC. Not just because of some of the on-field success the two teams have shared over the last five-to-10 years or so, but because it extends to the world of recruiting. The two schools located in neighboring states, as to be expected, recruit multiple prospects who are considering both schools.

Georgia occasionally will dip in to South Carolina to land a big prospect but South Carolina has made it a habit of heading over to the Peach State to look for the next great Gamecock. In fact, South Carolina has 27 players on its roster from the state of Georgia.

When the Gamecocks take on Georgia at home this weekend, South Carolina will host three recruits on unofficial visits who are ranked in the top 50 of their respective classes: Roquan Smith (2015), Isaac Nauta (2016) and Mecole Hardman (2016).

Richt checks on his top commit 

January, 15, 2013
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ESPN 150 cornerback Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) spent Sunday morning eating breakfast with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, then ended that night on the phone with Georgia coach Mark Richt.


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Hackenberg, Olsen earn UA Game starts

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Black Team offense

Quarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)

Running back: Alvin Kamara

Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)

Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland

Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)

Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)

Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware

Black Team defense

Defensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel

Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)

Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)

Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas

Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)

Black Team special teams

Long snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)

Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)

White Team offense

Quarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)

Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)

Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)

Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)

Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)

Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

White Team defense

Defensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)

Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue

Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson

Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner

Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)

White Team special teams

Long snapper: Brendan Turelli

Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)

Punter: Shane Tripucka

Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster

#UAGame practice: Day 4 notebook 

January, 3, 2013
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With just a player walk-through Thursday, things were relatively easy in Day 4 of practice at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. A four-star defensive tackle gave further explanation about his decision to decommit from an SEC school, several players talked about who impressed them the most, and an ESPN 150 safety changed his decision date.


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Weekly Recruiting Roundup 

October, 12, 2012
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ACC
North Carolina State
Kyrin Priester WR Snellville, GA, Brookwood
HT: 6-1 WT: 181
Position Rank: #19 WR

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Scouts: Griffin could contribute early 

October, 10, 2012
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The Gamecocks, whose 2013 class features verbals from a few promising defensive end prospects, have now added a very good interior player to the mix in ESPN 150 talent Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) as they work to keep that defensive line a strength of the team.

The four-star's physical upside may be a bit limited, but that is not a big concern as he is a strong, thickly built and explosive player. When he keeps his pads down he can be a stout presence who can occupy blocks and be tough to push off the ball. The big man can also be disruptive himself along the line of scrimmage especially as he learns to use his hands better. The top 15 defensive tackle prospect moves well for his size, displaying very good short-space quickness and a nose for the ball. Also demonstrates the tools to be productive as a pass rusher who can not only power his way back and help collapse the pocket, but is also able to quickly work to half-a-man, flip his hips and get skinny to work past and get in the quarterback's face.

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ESPN 150 DT Griffin picks South Carolina 

October, 10, 2012
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Just a few weeks after his commitment to the University of Georgia was not accepted, ESPN 150 prospect Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) has joined the commitment class of another SEC program -- coincidentally, one that just defeated the Bulldogs 35-7 on Saturday. According to Mill Creek coach Shannon Jarvis, Griffin has committed to play for the Gamecocks.

"Kelsey has just informed me and the coaches at the University of South Carolina that he is committing to play football there next fall," Jarvis said. "Kelsey attended the South Carolina-Georgia game on an unofficial visit this weekend and returned home to finalize his decision with his parents this week. Kelsey had offers from schools across the entire country before narrowing his choices to South Carolina and UGA this summer. He is very excited about the opportunity to play for the University of South Carolina and be apart of their continued success."

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Don't blame Georgia for Griffin mixup 

September, 21, 2012
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Don't persecute Georgia for its handling Friday of the Kelsey Griffin situation.

The defensive tackle from Hochston (Ga.) Mill Creek called UGA to deliver his verbal commitment to the Bulldogs, only to learn that the Georgia coaches weren't ready to take it.

That's recruiting.

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Griffin not a commit after all 

September, 21, 2012
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It appears Georgia's Class of 2013 might not have added ESPN 150 defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) just yet.


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Top five uncommitted: Georgia 

September, 18, 2012
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In what is now widely considered to be the fourth-best state as far as FBS football talent is concerned, the 2013 class in Georgia could be the deepest group of talent to come out of the Peach State. More than 200 prospects are claiming offers at the moment, which would easily surpass the 170-180 FBS signees the state has averaged over the last three years. In this feature, RecruitingNation takes a look at the top five remaining uncommitted prospects in Georgia.

[+] EnlargeMontravius Adams
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comMontravius Adams has official visits to LSU, Oregon and USC in the works.
Montravius Adams, DL, Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County, 6-foot-3, 300 pounds
No. 3 prospect in Georgia
Front-runner: Auburn

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ESPN 150 defensive lineman Kelsey Griffin recently named the University of Georgia his leader, but he wasn’t quite ready to pull the trigger Friday at Dawg Night. Still, the Georgia native enjoyed his time in Athens and the Bulldogs remain at the top of his list.

“I didn’t do any drills this year,” Griffin said. “I just watched this year. I enjoyed myself. I thought it was way better and better put together than last year. It changed a little bit, and it was more fun than last year.”

Although Griffin opted not to participate in any of the drills, he watched and learned from UGA defensive line coach Rodney Garner throughout the camp.

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- ESPN 150 defensive tackle Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) will spend the week of the July 4 holiday making some travel plans and doing his homework. The Under Armour All-American is looking to do some trimming to his very long offer list.

“I am just trying to visit a couple of more schools so I can make a top five list,” Griffin said. “It is coming real soon, like next week or in a week and a half. I am working on it.”

Some programs have already made the cut.

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The Georgia Bulldogs put out several new offers during their VID Day on Saturday, but Kelsey Griffin (Hoschton, Ga./Mill Creek) was not one of them. That’s because the 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive lineman received his offer from the Bulldogs last July, after racking up 96 tackles and six sacks during his sophomore season. His latest visit to Athens seems to have helped Georgia’s chances with the in-state target.

“It went great,” Griffin said. “I got to see more of the campus, talk to the coaches more and get a closer look at the team. I like how they explained their game plan on defense, and the way I fit in will play a big factor in my final decision.”

Griffin mentioned his time with the Bulldogs staff as his favorite part of Saturday’s visit, but he noted that several other activities also stood out.

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