In a bit of shocking news, La Habra High School senior running back Drake Griffin, a St. Paul transfer, was recently ruled ineligible for the upcoming season according to the CIF-Southern Section office.
The notice was released on Wednesday on the CIF-SS website.
Highlanders football coach Frank Mazzotta confirmed in March that Griffin had been working out with the team (which is totally legit) after his transfer in late January.
Griffin was St. Paul’s leading rusher last season, totaling 943 yards on 121 carries (7.8 average) with 11 rushing touchdowns and one fumble.
The 5-foot-9, 204-pound junior was also the team’s second-leading receiver with 17 receptions for 141 yards. He was awarded the Charles Martinez Memorial (Best Back) Award at January’s St. Paul football banquet.
The paper spoke with Griffin after La Habra’s first practice in helmets and pads on August 17th and the young man was excited about the upcoming season. Here’s his interview from that practice –
Mazzotta did not return a call on Friday seeking comment. The paper was also unable to contact Griffin. The Highlanders are hosting La Serna tonight at 6 in a scrimmage. It figures senior running back Ahmed Avery will be the feature back.
My take: I’ll have to get more info on what’s transpired but this is definitely a blow to the program and to the young man. Griffin looked great in practice and was a model citizen at La Habra. The transfer seemed to be in the best interest of his personal growth, whether it was football motivated or not. Griffin had definitely matured and I can only wish him the best in his future endeavors, whether they be in shoulder pads or not.