QB Spotlight – Hayden Griffitts: Why he is a ‘Can’t Miss’ Division 1 QB
Hayden Griffitts, West Orange HS c/o 2014, 6’3”, 223lbs
My first QB spotlight article is an easy write for me. Hayden Griffitts was my starter this season during my first year as the Offensive Coordinator at West Orange High School. For the past two seasons I’ve gotten the chance to watch him from across the field on multiple occasions during my time as OC at cross town rival Olympia High School. I was always impressed with his in game moxie and extreme competitiveness. He always seemed to make plays on film whether with his arm or feet and seemed to have a sound grasp on managing the game at the quarterback position. However, coming into a new school as part of a brand new staff, you never know what to expect from the group of kids you’re inheriting; especially from a QB that has had 4 different OC’s during his high school career. One of those OCs was actually fellow co-founder of Quarterback Nation Nick Hill. Nick coached Hayden at West Orange during his sophomore campaign and deserves a lot of credit for the foundation he laid for Hayden to become the QB he is today. After arriving at West Orange myself I quickly realized that I would have the opportunity to work with one of the most intelligent, talented, and successful quarterbacks I’ve ever had.
At a Glance – Physically he’s impressive looking for a high school QB. He’s just around 6’3” and got to be over 220lbs by the end of our season. He’s mechanically sound throwing the ball from the lefty position. Quick side note – Coaching a lefty QB was new for me, and took awhile to get used to. At first I found myself trying to tweak his throwing motion because something just didn’t look right. We really worked on tightening up his throwing circle and finishing with a strong “step-and-follow-thru.” After a couple minor changes were made I realized I just wasn’t used to seeing the ball come out from that side. The kid was accurate, had good feet, and I just needed to let it be. If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Hayden also has great “functional mobility.” He will not run a blazing 40 time (he’s a 4.8-4.9 kid), but when something breaks down he has plenty of athletic ability to get out of the pocket and gain yards when the opportunity presents itself. He also has above average arm strength to make all the throws necessary to play at the college level.
11 Games – 2489 yds, 63% completion, 34 TD’s/4 INT’s, 244 yds rushing, 2 TD’s
Central Florida All-Star Selection, Nike South Florida vs Florida All-Star Selection, Offense/Defense Diamond in the Rough All-American Game Selection. Also owns almost every single game and career passing record at West Orange HS.
*By far the most impressive stat for Hayden this season was his TD/INT ratio. He very rarely put the ball in jeopardy, and 2 of his 4 interceptions came from tipped passes from WR’s.
Overview – Hayden Griffitts is a winner first and foremost. He’s the type of player that coaches dream of having that will not only make the plays on the field, but also has all the intangibles needed to lead his teammates and make everyone around him better. I did not hold back one bit with my approach in coaching Hayden this year. I could tell from day 1 that he would be able to take everything I threw at him and I did just that. I demanded perfection from him in every aspect of quarterbacking, as every coach should. However, I would agree that not every player can be coached the same way – Each has their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. I believe it’s the coach’s job to figure out the best approach to get the most out of the kid they’re coaching and to make him the best player he can be. Hayden made this easy for me. His grasp of the offense from the start of spring ball in May was incredible. FBI as I call it – Football Intelligence, in an underrated attribute sometimes; especially for a quarterback. Yes there are plenty of kids that can chunk the ball a mile and run an impressive 40, but if he has no clue what a base cover 2 is and how to attack it than it turns into wasted ability. It’s no coincidence how Hayden was able to excel so quickly though. His learning curve is unbelievable and he owns a 3.4 GPA and a 27 on the ACT.
Projection – A sure fire Division 1 QB. Hayden has all the physical attributes needed – Size, arm strength, accuracy, and mobility. The intangibles he possesses are what I believe set him apart from the others. He led our team to a 9-1 regular season record and a playoff berth for the first time in 14 years. He also dominated his opponents by throwing for just under 2500 yds with 34 TD’s and only 4 INT’s at the highest level of high school football (8A) in the state of Florida. He currently holds ZERO scholarship offers, which baffles me. Wherever Hayden lands at the next level they will sure be lucky to have a quarterback of his caliber.
You decide, Here’s his Hudl link –