Houston Griffith: It was the perfect time for a decision

Florida State is putting together another elite class of defensive backs during the 2018 recruiting cycle. The talent only grew on Sunday when four-star corner Houston Griffith pledged to the Seminoles. Griffith is from Illinois but is playing his final season of prep ball at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. He is rated as the No. 10 cornerback and the No. 61 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Griffith is now the second-highest rated committed for the `Noles behind cornerback Anthony Lytton.

The four-star prospect actually made the move from Illinois to IMG with fellow FSU commit Verdis Brown. Brown is a four-star center and the two have played together since their freshmen years of high school. Griffith had been trending towards the `Noles since the summer and the commitment of Brown helped make the decision a lot more simple for him. Griffith and Brown have both been named Under Armor All-Americans.

Griffith is listed as a cornerback by most recruiting services but he’s expected to play all over the field at FSU. He can line up at corner, safety, and star. The Chicago native has already spent time with defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and is getting a head start on learning the Seminoles scheme. Griffith is confident he’ll fit right in amongst the defensive back unit and he’s prepared to battle for playing time as a freshman.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher lands another long, rangy, physical defensive back in Griffith. He has the size at 6’1” 195 lbs. to be able to play and contest against taller receivers. Griffith is a shifty athlete with fluid hips that allow him to shift easily in his stance, his form is remarkable for someone still in high school. He is physical at the line of scrimmage when jamming receivers and certainly can deliver a huge hit on a ball carrier. Griffith’s outstanding fundamentals have him ahead of many of the other defensive back prospects in his class, though I would like to see him show off a little more of his ball skills.

Check out our full interview with Griffith below!

NoleGameday: You committed to Florida State on Sunday, what went into your decision to commit to FSU?

Houston Griffith: “Really at the end of the day it came to people. Being comfortable at Florida State was the main thing. Being able to play in the secondary and being able to be coached by coach Kelly and seeing the type of players he has in his system. They all look like me, same body type, big physical corners. Everything just fit perfect. The atmosphere was amazing and I had a great time. It was the perfect time for a decision.”

NoleGameday: Did FSU do anything different from other schools recruiting you with their pitch?

Griffith: “They just kept it real throughout the whole recruiting process. They asked me how my family was doing rather than just always talking about football. The coaches did a really good job recruiting me, they recruited me the hardest for the last couple of months. They made a good push after my visit in the summer and I wanted to commit then. I guess they just recruited the best.”

NoleGameday: How do you feel like Charles Kelly’s defensive scheme suits you at the next level?

Griffith: “I think it fits me real well. I asked him yesterday when we were watching film from the Miami game and he was just telling me I’ll be a big physical corner and that I’ll have the opportunity to play as a freshman if I just work hard. He was teaching me terminology yesterday and I was picking up on it so I think I just have a good shot as playing as a freshman if I take advantage of all of the resources at the University.”

NoleGameday: Where does Florida State see you at the next level?

Griffith: “I can play all over. They think since I’m a big corner and his corners are usually big, I remind him a lot of Xavier Rhodes. A big corner, long, just physical at the line of scrimmage. And they said just how I carry myself, it reminds them of Derwin James.”

NoleGameday: Did it play a factor that your current IMG teammate Verdis Brown, who you’ve played with since back in Chicago, is also committed to FSU?

Griffith: “It did. Yeah having Verdis committed, that really made things a lot easier to make the decision. I’ll have somebody I’ve known since 9th grade and it just means a lot I’ll get to play with my brother throughout high school and college.”

NoleGameday: What kind of relationships do you have with the guys currently committed to Florida State in your class as well as guys on the roster?

Griffith: “I know a bunch of the IMG guys. I have good relationships with Amari Gainer, AJ Lytton, and Asante Samuel. Now it’s my time to start recruiting kids to FSU.”

NoleGameday: Speaking of recruiting, are there any specific prospects you’re trying to sell FSU to?

Griffith: “Joshua Moore, Trey Brown, Jaylen Waddle.”

NoleGameday: Have you decided what you’ll be pursuing academically in college?

Griffith: “Communications.”

Dustin Lewis
Lead writer for NoleGameday. Majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media at Florida State University. Staff Writer for the FSView and contributor for Celtics Hub.

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