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2015 NFL DRAFT
player photo

Marcus Griffin, FS

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 201 | College: Texas
 
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Overview

For three seasons, Marcus and his twin brother, Michael, competed at the safety positions while Cedric Griffin (no relation) performed at cornerback. With Cedric and Michael now playing in the NFL, Marcus more than filled their leadership void in 2007.

Michael was the more highly touted prospect coming out of high school, recruited heavily by most of the major college programs. Marcus was not highly recruited, coming to UT as a walk-on in 2003, as he wanted to continue playing alongside his brother, who now starts for the Tennessee Titans.

At James Bowie High School, Griffin was named first-team All-District 25-5A on offense and defense as a senior. He earned All-Central Texas honors as a defensive back, playing in the same defensive backfield as his brother. He added first-team All-District accolades as a junior, helping the team post an 8-3 record in 2001.

Griffin recorded 82 tackles (62 solos) while making three interceptions and a fumble

recovery in 2002. He also gained 1,028 passing yards and 560 rushing yards to help the team compile a 9-2 record. As a junior, he registered 78 tackles (56 solos) with five interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Griffin enrolled at Texas in 2003, playing free safety on the scout team. He backed up Michael Huff at that position the next two seasons, seeing action mostly on special teams in 2004. He finished that campaign with 10 tackles (7 solos), as he posted seven stops (4 solos) on the kick coverage units.

In 2005, Griffin registered 32 tackles (11 solos) as a valuable nickel back, coming up with four stops (2 solos) on special teams. He started 10 of 11 games at strong safety in 2006, earning Academic All-Big 12 Conference honors. He sat out the Rice and Baylor games with a pair of ankle sprains, but still finished second on the team with 90 tackles (54 solos), including a sack and two stops for losses. He also picked off a pass, broke up three others and caused two fumbles.

Griffin shifted to free safety as a senior, earning All-Big 12 first-team honors from the league's coaches. He also earned Academic All-Big 12 Conference honors, as he led the team with a career-high 99 tackles (65 solos). He deflected five passes and picked off four others. He also caused and recovered a fumble.

In 49 games at Texas, Griffin started 23 contests. He closed out his career with 231 tackles (137 solos), an 11-yard sack and three stops for losses of 15 yards, along with one quarterback pressure. He caused three fumbles, recovered two others and made 14 tackles (8 solos) on special teams. He deflected eight passes and intercepted five others for 91 yards in returns, including a touchdown.

Analysis

Positives: Has a frame that can carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk with no loss in quickness … Very physical in run support, doing a much better job of reading blocking schemes and attacking the ball downhill than he does in man coverage … Does not have the foot speed like his brother, Michael, but shows good balance and decent acceleration closing on plays in front of him … Quiet, respected team leader who is called the hardest worker on the team by the coaching staff … Competitive type who plays until the whistle and shows good urgency getting to the ball … Earned his scholarship with his tireless work ethic and performances on the special teams coverage units, as he is generally the first to get downfield, showing good tackling technique in space … Much more decisive in locating the ball and getting into position vs. running plays than the pass, as he stays low in his pads and does a good job of attacking the rusher's outside leg to impede forward progress … Has the leg drive to push back the lead blocker and clog the rush lanes … Generally is in the proper alignment to keep plays in front of him, and even though tight ends might over-power him at times he keeps his hands active in attempts to reroute … Stays on the hip of short-area receivers and shows the ability to stay square while mirroring in the short area (struggles to stay tight on the receiver in deep routes, though) … Has a good feel for the route developing, but does bite on play-action a bit … Can get a good jump on the ball when he sees threats developing … Has the body control and timing to compete for jump balls (just lacks natural hands) … Despite a lack of bulk, he is a slippery blitzer who can get under or around a lineman's arm swipes … Fights the ball some looking it in, but has confidence that he can absorb it into his body (not always successful) … Fights off blocks with aggression and fills quickly when taking good angles in run force … Does a good job of protecting his feet and side-stepping trash when working down the line … Big hitter who can square up, wrap and make contact with good force … Shows good balance and tackling form in plays in front of him and it is rare to see him miss a tackle in the open field.

Negatives: Too light to play strong safety at the next level, but lacks the timed speed and acceleration you look for in a free safety … Not really a fluid open-field runner and needs to smooth out his backpedal a bit, as he will take false steps in transition, especially in man coverage … despite four interceptions in 2007, he lacks natural hands and will trap the ball more often than extend for it … Bites on pump fakes and play-action and needs to do a better job of mirroring the receivers (gets turned around a bit and struggles to recover when the receiver gets behind him) … Must be more aggressive with his hands in run support, as he does not play off blocks well and takes time trying to shed … Has tight hips that prevent him from opening up and flying to the ball in an instant … Very choppy in his pass drops and must stay lower in his pads to get a cleaner plant when driving out of his breaks … Might not be able to read keys as quick as his brother, as there is some bit of hesitation when trying to catch up to the ball … Has good strength, but needs to generate better pop on contact.

Compares To: MICHAEL GRIFFIN-Tennessee … This was an easy comparison, as both have the same build and play under control. Michael is quicker and much more fluid in his backpedal. He also has more natural hands than Marcus, but Marcus is a better tackler in run support and shows very good balance and wrap-up technique to get the ballcarrier on the ground. The only disadvantage with Marcus is timed speed, as he is built more like a free safety and might struggle taking on offensive linemen with his light frame. Asked at the Combine on how he compares himself to his brother, Michael said, "To me, and I'm entitled to my own opinion, I think we're the same type of people. We play in the same type of manner. I think I compare just as similar to him."

Career Notes

Griffin became the fifth player in school history to record an interception return for 90 yards or longer with his 91-yard touchdown vs. Baylor in 2007, joining Jack Collins (95 vs. Baylor, 1936), Harrison Stafford (92 vs. Southern Methodist, 1932), Mike Robuck (90 vs. Rice, 1966) and Clair Branch (90 vs. Rice, 1958).

2007 Season

All-Big 12 Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches, adding honorable mention from the Associated Press … Second-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree and a member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll … Named one of UT's Mike Campbell Most Valuable Defensive Players and one of UT's Outstanding Defensive Backs … Shifted back to free safety, starting every game, as he helped the Longhorn give up just 99.3 rushing yards per game (10th NCAA … Led the team with a career-high 99 tackles (65 solos), including one stop for a 3-yard loss and one quarterback pressure … Recovered and caused one fumble … Deflected five passes and intercepted four others for 91 yards in returns, including a touchdown.

2007 Game Analysis

Arkansas State … Opened the season with six tackles (5 solos) and a pair of third-down stops.

Texas Christian … Registered seven tackles (6 solos) and broke up a flag pass tossed by Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter.

Central Florida … Collected nine tackles (6 solos), as he forced a fumble and deflected one pass … Forced UCF to settle for a 47-yard field goal at the start of the second quarter, after he batted down a Kyle Israel third-&-8 pass at the UT 29 … Later in that quarter, he left the game briefly after getting his "bell rung" trying to stop tailback Kevin Smith on a 7-yard run … Returned to cause a fumble that he recovered, stripping the ball from Israel on a 5-yard run at the UCF 46 and on the next play, Longhorn tailback Jamaal Charles ran for a 46-yard touchdown.

Rice … Had three tackles, pressuring QB Chase Clement into throwing a third-&-17 incomplete pass to force an Owls punt at the start of the second quarter … Picked off a Clement pass on the next drive, setting up a Texas 52-yard field goal.

Baylor … Was in on six tackles (3 solos) and picked off a pair of passes … Intercepted a Michael Machen pass at the UT 9 and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown with 7:34 left in the game … His 91-yarder was UT's longest return in 71 years … On the next series, he again picked off a Clement pass in the end zone and Texas ran out the clock in a 31-10 victory.

Nebraska … Posted five solo tackles, including one where he chased down Cortny Grixby on a fourth quarter 30-yard kickoff return … Killed that ensuing series when he knocked down a Sam Keller rthird-&-13 pass, forcing the Huskers to punt.

Oklahoma State … Credited with nine solo tackles, including three third-down stops.

Texas Tech … Followed with seven tackles (5 solos) and a pass break-up.

Texas A&M … Registered fourteen tackles (3 solos), including one that stopped tailback Mike Goodson for a 3-yard loss on the game's second play from scrimmage.

Arizona State (Holiday Bowl) … Closed out his career with two solo tackles, as he also picked off a Rudy Carpenter pass at the Texas 5 midway through the third quarter.

2006 Season

Second-team Academic All-Big 12 Conference choice … Named the Longhorns'

Outstanding Defensive Newcomer, as he helped UT give up only 61.2 yards rushing per

game (third NCAA), 297.4 yards per game (22nd NCAA) and 18.3 points per game

(26th NCAA) … The 61.2 yards rushing per game ranks second on the school's all-time list … Started ten of eleven games at strong safety, missing the Rice and Baylor games with ankle sprains … Still finished second on the team with 90 tackles (54 solos), including an 11-yard sack and two stops for losses of 12 yards … Caused two fumbles and recovered another … Deflected three passes and had one interception.

2006 Game Analysis

Opened the season with seven tackles (4 solos) and two pass break-ups vs. North Texas …

Made seven hits vs. Ohio State, but sprained his ankle, sitting out the next game vs. Rice … Had his first career interception to go along with five solo tackles vs. Sam Houston State … Caused a fumble and delivered four hits vs. Oklahoma … Recovered a fumble and posted four stops in the Nebraska clash … Registered seven solo tackles vs. Texas Tech and caused a fumble while coming up with four tackles vs. Kansas State … Credited with a career-high thirteen solo tackles, including one behind the line of scrimmage in the Texas A&M game … Posted three tackles, including a 12-yard sack vs. Iowa in the Alamo Bowl.

2005 Season

Played in all thirteen games as a reserve free safety and on special teams … Recorded 32 tackles (11 solos) on defense and four tackles (2 solos) on the coverage unit … Was part of a defense that ranked 10th nationally in total defense (302.9 ypg), eighth in scoring defense (16.4 ppg), fourth in pass efficiency defense (96.7) and eighth in passing defense (172.0 ypg).

2005 Game Analysis

Made seven tackles (3 solos) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the season opener … Posted three assisted hits vs. Rice and had four stops in the Texas Tech clash … Followed with three assisted tackles vs. Oklahoma State and added three solo stops in the Kansas game …

Registered four tackles (2 solos) vs. Colorado in the Big 12 Conference title game.

2004 Season

Appeared in twelve games as a reserve free safety, seeing most of his action on special teams … Registered ten tackles (7 solos), with seven hits (4 solos) coming on special teams … Made two tackles in each of the North Texas, Colorado and Texas A&M games … Added one special team tackle vs. Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

2004 SEASON

Redshirted as a freshman.

2003 Season

Redshirted.

Injury Report

2005: Sat out the Rice game (9/16) with a high ankle sprain … Re-injured the ankle, sitting out vs. Baylor (10/14).

2007: Left the Central Florida game (9/15) briefly when he was shaken up after making a tackle on a running play.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.62 in the 40-yard dash … 335-pound bench press … 455-pound squat … 308-pound power clean … 34-inch vertical jump … 4.38 20-yard shuttle … 30 5/8-inch arm length … 9 5/8-inch hands.

Combine: 4.71 in the 40-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 13 times … 31.5-inch vertical jump.

High School

Attended James Bowie (Austin, Texas) High School, playing football for head coach Jeff Ables … Named first-team All-District 25-5A on offense and defense as a senior … Earned All-Central Texas honors as a defensive back, playing in the same defensive backfield as his brother, Michael … Added first-team All-District accolades as a junior, helping the team post an 8-3 record in 2001 … Had 82 tackles (62 solos), while making three interceptions and a fumble recovery in 2002 … Also gained 1,028 passing yards and 560 rushing yards to help the team compile a 9-2 record … As a junior, he registered 78 tackles (56 solos) with five interceptions and two forced fumbles … Member of the National Honor Society.

Personal

Graduated in December 2007 with a degree in Government Studies, minoring in Liberal Arts … Two-time Academic All-Big 12 Conference pick and member of the UT Athletic Director's Honor Roll … Active in UT's community service program … Part of a group of Longhorns that regularly visits patients at the Austin Children's Hospital … Twin brother of former Texas All-American safety Michael Griffin (2003-06), who presently starts for the Tennessee Titans … Son of Mae and Ronald Griffin … Born Marcus Kevin Griffin on

1/4/85 in Austin, Texas.

 
 

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