Measurements listed: 6 ft ¼, 202 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: A five-year veteran, Griffith will be ineligible after this season, barring injury. In its current form, Griffith may only return to Notre Dame in 2022 due to the general withdrawal from the pandemic.
Depth Chart: Griffith could finish the safety starting with the Northwest transfer. Brandon Joseph. Griffith, classmate of DJ Brown and Jr. Ramon Henderson on Friday will begin pre-season training competing for this gig, though everyone should certainly see plenty of game time this season regardless of that hierarchy.
Recruiting: The All-American Under Armor was originally a Florida State allegiance but reconsidered as the Seminoles stumbled to 7-6 and the Irish 9-3 in the 2017 regular season. Rivals.com ranked Griffith 4th in safety and 43rd overall in the 2018 class.
CAREER FOR TODAY
Something to keep in mind as the Irish enjoy the bounty of a few proven fullbacks but few cornerbacks like this is that Griffith was a nickel back early in his career and he was also tried out as a cornerback. His work in nickel back in 2018 was caused by a little desperation after Sean Crawford was lost for the season, but Griffith played well considering he was just a rookie.
Griffith mostly worked as an understudy for Crawford in 2019 before moving to safety in 2020, but the two names are still linked. Griffith and Brown were unimpressed by the coaching staff in pre-season training, so Crawford was moved to safety as well. In 2020, opposing quarterbacks attacked Griffith eight times, giving up seven catches for 83 yards.
It improved on that alarming metric in 2021, and it wasn’t easy enough to track down enough. with a star Kyle Hamilton absent for half the season, Griffith remained a regular at Notre Dame’s back line. Initially, Brown replaced Hamilton, but then he was replaced by Henderson.
2018: 11 games, 1 start; 14 tackles with two passes.
2019: 13 games; 5 tackles broken down into one pass.
2020: 12 games, 2 starts; 14 tackles, one for a loss.
2021: 13 games, 12 starts; 38 gear.
At 49 career games, Griffith could equal or break Kurt Hinisch’s record for most appearances in Ireland. Hinish set the mark at 61 last season, so a full season of bowling would have put Griffith in first place in the record book…if it wasn’t for five-year-old linebacker Bo Bauer.
When Griffith didn’t play against the Navy as a freshman or in the college football playoff semifinals against Clemson later that season, he lost two games to Bauer in this surprise record chase. Bauer has played every game over the past four years, which has given him an inside track to a mark that should never be broken.
NAME, IMAGE, SIMILARITY
If anything, it’s surprising that more college athletes haven’t found the opportunity to showcase their trendy shoes through NIL rights.
Griffith entered the transfer portal after the 2020 season and talked him into returning to South Bend. Marcus Freeman he was once appointed Irish Defense Coordinator. Given this hesitation, it was not certain that Griffith would return for a fifth season.
“I feel like there’s a lot of talent on this team and I want to be part of this team, get out here, leave Notre Dame and leave my legacy, be part of a team that wins a national championship.” Griffith said in January when asked what led to this choice.
He then took on the direct burden of making this championship happen.
“Honestly, I need to play more,” he said. “It’s something I just want to work on, just being able to play, practice day in and day out. Work on my leadership qualities.
“One of the goals of my return is I want to be the captain of the Notre Dame football team.”
Blue-Gold’s game should never be given too much weight considering it’s literally practice, but Griffith was named final spring practice captain for the second year in a row.
WHAT WAS FORECAST A YEAR AGO
“Griffith never lacked physical talent. It was clear in high school and he was blessed with health so that his physical ability never diminished. Instead, Griffith was held back by indecision and confusion. To put it more precisely, both Griffith and (Brian) Kelly cited his “football IQ” this spring.
“In the spring, Griffith redoubled his efforts to study film, and this fall, when he already has a degree, this should only increase. If that happens, then suddenly Griffith will be able to make the most of another opportunity.
“Two things had to happen for Houston, right?” Kelly said in mid-April. ‘opportunity and then make the most of that opportunity. What makes the best, what does it equal? For me, I think a lot of it was just being aware of the situation he was in and using what I consider to be outstanding athletic ability and applying it to specific situations. This year he is doing very well.
“Sometimes he used a hammer when he needed to use a screwdriver in certain places.”
“If Griffith uses a screwdriver during 2021 it could have a largely intangible effect, but one area where it should show up is relationship breakups. The defenseman needs to have more in a season than Griffith has in his entire career, three in total.
“If Griffith can get half a dozen passes this year, it will show that he is finally diagnosing the game quickly and correctly.”
FORECAST FOR 2022
Griffith’s claim that he needs to play more should be considered an understatement. In over 1,000 career snaps, he directly affected 74 of them, between tackles and passes. Sports safety should be near the ball much more often.
For Notre Dame to achieve anything close to the championship success that Griffith aims for, he will need to be close to the ball much more often.
The fact that Griffith started 12 games for the Irish last season, playing in all 13, and not making a pass is not a reflection of the fact that the quarterbacks threw him out of respect. If anything, they would have thrown the first half of the year at him to avoid Hamilton.
There is no benchmark for the number of passes Griffith should have interrupted or received this season, but the lack of any passes has been and will remain unforgivable.
It is because of this harsh reality that Brown or Henderson are likely to start alongside Joseph. Notre Dame has a fleet of aggressive midfielders and the defensive line is the best positional group on the team. No more guards are needed to maintain run protection or put pressure on the quarterback. They are needed to patrol the back line and break aisles.
Let’s assume this is correct and Griffith sits idle on the bench during the first few defensive snaps on September 3 at Ohio State. With his nickel fullback and experience as a root back, he could quickly become an Irish fullback. Either he or he turns into a freshman in front of 105,000 fans; As with Jayden Mikken, who was the first contestant in the spring, these bets are very different.
The Buckeyes will often force Notre Dame to play a dime – in this context, “dim” means using more than five quarterbacks. The best offense in the country will try to surpass Al Goldenprotection. If Ohio State doesn’t consistently find these big plays, there’s a good chance Griffith is involved somewhere and he could very well abort his first pass since 2020.
RELATED READING: The return of Houston Griffith provides another possible answer to Notre Dame’s security questions.
ON THE WAY TO
This is it. Griffith would have to be injured in the first four games of the season for any version of collegiate thought to exist in 2023.
His overall athleticism should draw Griffith into the NFL offseason, but if he doesn’t play more in 2022, that look might be short-lived.
Thank you to all the fans who came to the spring game today☘️ https://t.co/B35PSg5o9b
— Houston Griffith (@___HG3) April 23, 2022
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
From Blake Groupe to Braden Lenzi, the off-season countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Group, kicker, transfer of the State of Arkansas
No. 99 Riley Mills, junior guard, player who now plays more in the end.
#98 Tyson Ford, early freshman, quarterback hired as a four-star endgame.
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore, quarterback, still “wide like a Volkswagen.”
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a young defender who tore his cruciate ligament in March.
#91 Josh Bryan Sophomore Kicker
#91 Aiden Gobaira, Freshman Early Enrollment Guard, Four-Star Recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defender, the German project is nearing completion.
No. 88 Mitchell Evans,…