The LookOut sports

Mitch Chortkoff

Spurned SaMo High Quarterback Not Short of Talent

In his last high school football game, Chris Griffin led
St. Monica High from behind to a CIF championship.

His poise and accurate passing guided the Mariners to
the winning touchdown in a 28-24 victory over Carpinteria High before 4,000 at Santa Barbara City College.

Most of those people were rooting for the home team. But St. Monica accomplished what championship teams must do, overcome the odds. St. Monica beat a good team on its home grounds.

Now, a few months later, Griffin wonders what he did
wrong. He has not been approached by Division 1 schools for a scholarship. He has seen players on teams that St. Monica defeated get some of them.

He is not happy.

This is a good quarterback. He has proven himself in
every way he can. So what's the problem?

It's the same problem that has plagued quality young
football players for years. The colleges have numerical
standards. A receiver must run a certain speed. If he is timed a fraction of a second slower they don't want him.

A quarterback must be a certain size. If he's a little
shorter, like Griffin, it's a big problem. There's also the
matter of arm strength. J.P. Losman, the Venice High
quarterback, has an arm like a cannon. UCLA saw him just one day at a football camp and offered a scholarship.

Griffin is about 6-feet tall and throws well enough to
win games but doesn't have an arm like a cannon. This also works against him.

Griffin's favorite receiver, James Dunn, caught 99
passes this season but didn't meet the numerical standards
either. He was bypassed by most major universities but did receive a scholarship to Tulane.

I saw Griffin recently. Previously I had only admired
his play from a distance. This time we talked.

He made it plain that he's disappointed, but also eager
to work hard and improve. If he doesn't get a Division 1
scholarship, Santa Monica College is a possiblity.

He could do a lot worse. Coach Robert Taylor features a
wide-open offense and in the last two years developed former Santa Monica High star Dylen Smith into a coveted Division 1 prospect. Smith then signed with Utah.

SMC has made it clear to Griffin that he will be welcome

There is irony in this story. You see, Griffin and Losman were pals when they both attended St. Monica Elementary School.

``It was no surprise when J.P. went to Venice,'' said
St. Monica coach Norm Lacy. ``His entire family went there.''

Griffin and Losman went their separate ways and became
the two best prep quarterbacks on the Westside last season. But they still get together. When I talked to Griffin he was at a Venice---St. Monica baseball game with Losman.

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