By LARRY VAUGHT
Georgia cornerback Jordan Griffin was ranked as the nation’s 15th best cornerback by Rivals.com and 16th best player overall in his home state.
The 6-0, 175-pound Jones had 15 tackles and two interceptions last season for Jonesboro High School and also caught 68 passes for 1,008 yards and 10 scores.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops says Griffin has the size, instincts, speed and technique needed to play in the Southeastern Conference. He also avoided the temptation of breaking his verbal commitment to UK.
Stoops knows hanging on to Griffin was important for a lot of reasons.
“I think it was important because it was important from where he was at. Coming from the heart of the SEC, right in the Atlanta area, having every SEC school banging on him and knocking on his door. To win that so far away from home, in the heart of the SEC, I think is critical,” Stoops said.
“ We know we had the nucleus of the five guys in state that were as solid as can be. We know we’ve been extremely strong with Vince’s leadership there in taking the lead role with the Ohio kids. It’s also important to supplement them, get guys from the south. To win the battle against a bunch of SEC schools, we’re very gratified.”
Stoops not that teams were not backing off Griffin
“It was relentless pressure with him to the point where we talked with him and mom every day this week, they were just getting absolutely hounded, wore out by head coaches, by assistants,” Stoops said.
The UK coach said the first call he got Wednesday morning on national signing day was from Griffin about 7:05.
“I could tell he was a little bit flustered. I heard mom in the background. I said, ‘Jordan, are they (other coaches) on the phone with you right now?’ I’m not going to say who. He said, ‘Yeah, they’re wearing out my mom right now,'” Stoops said.
So what did Stoops do?
“ I said, ‘Tell them I got the fax in my hand. It’s over.’ It was good to see. It was important,” Stoops said.