Boston College: Griffin earning bigger opportunity; becoming a role model for local players

CHESTNUT HILL – Former Springfield Central standout Joe Griffin caught his first career touchdown pass during Boston College’s loss to Florida State on Saturday.

It’s the first of many he’ll be catching during his career in Chestnut Hill.

The speedy freshman wideout is getting more opportunities to showcase what he can do as he gets more comfortable playing football at the Division 1 level and could become a much bigger factor for the offense moving forward.

“It’s coming,” head coach Jeff Hafley said on Tuesday. “Joe got hurt in training camp for a little while and he missed some time. Now, he’s getting it going in practice. The Maine week, he didn’t really practice because he was sick. Last week, he had a full week of practice and played upward of 30 plays. He caught the one touchdown, he’s a big strong guy.

“Maybe more impressive than that – I don’t know if you guys watched the blocking – but he was physical. Did you see him on special teams? He’s a big man and he’s only going to get more confident as he really gets a good feel for everything. I think you’re going to see more and more of him this year, both play wise and him making plays down the field. I’m pleased with where he’s at and how hard he’s working.”

Since his first touchdown came in a pretty ugly loss, Griffin couldn’t celebrate like he may have wanted to, but it was still one heck of a moment for him.

“The feeling was great, we were still down, so I was locked in, didn’t really show I was that excited, but I was,” Griffin said with a smile.

Griffin has also had the luxury of honing his craft with one of the best receivers in the country, Zay Flowers. Flowers has helped him with everything you can imagine at the wide receiver position and with his size, Griffin may end up being more of a threat than Zay is when it’s all said and done.

“Zay’s honestly been a great role model,” Griffin said. “Just trying to follow in his foot steps. Whether it’s little drills after practice, releases, moves at the top of the route, what to do better against what type of coverage or how the DB is playing you and how to get more separation.”

As a local guy in a region that is still trying to catch up with other states in terms of attention on high school football, Griffin knows he can be a role model of sorts for other Massachusetts players.

“Being local, I know all the kids around in Mass. are looking up to me,” he said. “People text me all the time, it feels good to be a role model, someone people can look up to.”