General ‘box-score pundits’ may not agree, but if you take a look at the film, you’ll see what ESPN’s David Hale is talking about when he pegged USC Trojans cornerback Olaijah Griffin as a potential breakout star for 2020.
Griffin, though he didn’t make any interceptions a season ago, he still make a big impact in the pass game. He broke up nine passes and had multiple other forced incompletions into his primary coverage. He allowed a completion percentage of just 42.6% on throws his way and didn’t give up a catch in three separate games that he was targeted.
Griffin was credited with having allowed just 231 yards into his coverage on 54 targeted passes.
Still, he’s a relative unknown to most the major media, and that’s because he didn’t register an interception.
Football isn’t a game all about statistical showings in the Sunday morning news. It’s a game of X’s and O’s, instincts and ability; and Griffin has all of the tools to succeed.
ESPN’s Hale wrote that Griffin posted a lower completion percentage, fewer yards per target and more pass breakups per target than Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, who was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
That’s high praise and a great advanced look at where Griffin did indeed see tons of success.
It also helps to know that he completely shut down sides of the field at times during the 2020 season as well, and wasn’t even looked at on multiple occasions.
With Griffin entrenched as a breakout star potentially, and Talanoa Hufanga on the Bednarik and Lott Trophy watch lists, the sky is now the limit for this talented secondary. And the national media is catching up.