Monday, July 28, 2014

BYU football: Cougars land commitment from Florida quarterback prospect

By Brandon Gurney, Deseret News

Published: Mon, April 14 1:16 p.m. MDT

 Hayden Griffitts threw for 2,498 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior.

Hayden Griffitts threw for 2,498 yards and 34 touchdowns as a senior.

(Giffitts family)

WINTER GARDENS, Fla. — The case for BYU simply became too strong for West Orange High School quarterback Hayden Griffitts.

A stated "BYU family," good relationships with the Cougar coaching staff and growing comfort with the BYU community contributed heavily in Griffitts committing to the football program.

"I just feel really comfortable at BYU and it got to the point where I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else," Griffitts said.

Griffitts is a 6-foot-3, 222-pound quarterback prospect who has been a standout at BYU camps over the last two summers. He went on to throw for 2,498 yards and 34 touchdowns against just two interceptions his senior season for West Orange, which brought a lot of recruiting attention.

"I had a lot of schools real interested until I told them my plans to serve an LDS mission," Griffitts said. "My plan was to serve a mission right out of high school, so when I told schools, they backed off."

One school that maintained interest was BYU, which kept in constant contact throughout the process. Griffitts quickly built a strong relationship with both offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck.

Although interest was great from both Anae and Beck, scholarship spots were limited.

"They told me that they'd definitely offer me most years but simply didn't have enough scholarship spots open," Griffitts explained. "That was disappointing since BYU has always been the school I wanted to play for."

Griffitts grew up a huge BYU fan being the son of former BYU player Bobby Griffitts, who played for the program in the early 1990s. Hayden said he was "trained to be a BYU fan" along with his twin brother Kyle.

Hayden flew out to catch the tail end of BYU football practices while Kyle stayed at home attending to his duties as West Orange's student body president.

A lot of the time spent in Provo has been with BYU basketball signee Dalton Nixon.

"I've become real close with Dalton and the Nixon family," Griffitts said. "Me and Dalton started talking about going to BYU together and possibly being roommates, and that helped me make my final decision for sure."

Griffitts already has his mission call and will leave to serve a mission to Japan later this year. Upon his return he'll join BYU's program as a preferred walk-on.

"Walk-ons have a great opportunity at BYU to earn scholarships," Griffitts said. "A lot of the program's best players started off as walk-ons, and I hope to prove my worth and hopefully earn a scholarship."

As for his twin brother, Kyle, he has yet to decide, but Griffitts is hopeful BYU will find room for him.

"Kyle is a very versatile athlete who could play linebacker or tight end and maybe even defensive end," Griffitts said. "Hopefully we can go to BYU together and play for the team. It's always been a dream of ours growing up."

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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BYU football: QB Hayden Griffitts

Lafe Peavler
April 12, 2014
Recommended
1. Wiscougarfan
River Falls, WI,
April 14, 2014

I love that we've landed another "preferred walk-on" for the football team. While Hayden wasn't highly recruited, the student body president who was seeing some interest from Harvard seems like a great fit at the Y. I hope he can play his way into a scholarship. Welcome to cougarnation Hayden! Go Cougs!

2. Whatsnu
Sandy, UT,
April 14, 2014

Hayden and Kyle both seem like great young men who will be fine additions to BYU's football program.

3. IndeMak
South Jordan, UT,
April 14, 2014

Sounds like a great kid.

4. wahului
Stockton, CA,
April 14, 2014

Great News!! Now let's get his brother onboard along with Porter Gustin!! Bronco has said numerous times that he wants to capture the outstanding LDS athletes, and these are all in that league! Go get them!!!

5. Naval Vet
Philadelphia, PA,
April 14, 2014

"Griffitts is a 6-foot-3, 222-pound quarterback prospect..."

Not according to Rivals, who'd measured him as a 6-1, 198-lbs QB. Nor Scout either (6-1, 195).

"I had a lot of schools real interested until I told them my plans to serve an LDS mission."

The way he'd described it, you'd think he'd been actively engaged by teams from the FSU, Miami, and the rest of the SEC. Yet all that had happened was he'd been scouted (but not offered) by Utah, USU, AFA, Harvard, and Weber St.

"My plan was to serve a mission right out of high school, so when I told schools, they backed off."

Yeah, I'm sure THAT was reason. Not that he'd been rated as a 0-star QB.