Louisville Football is looking for a strong finish for its 2020 class. This evening they added a huge piece to their defensive puzzle when 3 Star DE Josh Griffis chose the Cards.
Griffis, originally from Bradenton, FL, plays for IMG Academy. He is a teammate of current UofL DB commit Zay Peterson. The 6’4 245 lbs Griffis was originally committed to Florida State, but Louisville stayed in constant communication with him. After the firing of Willie Taggart, it seemed the Cards had positioned themselves well to flip Griffis. Eventually, that came to fruition.
In addition to his Louisville and Florida State offers, Griffis has offers from Florida, Nebraska, West Virginia, Penn State, Pittsburgh, and Purdue, among others. Griffis is the 563rd ranked player overall in the 2020 class and the 23rd ranked WDE per 247sports composite rankings.
Louisville Football just landed a DE who can do it all. Griffis can rush the passer with the best of them and he can stuff the run. The very first thing that really stands out on his highlight is his motor. Griffis plays extremely hard every snap and is always finding his way to the ball, even when the play is to the opposite side of where he likes up. Everything else Griffis does well finds its foundation in his unrelenting energy.
Griffis is an unbelievable pass rusher. This is something the Louisville defense desperately needs and he provides that. He can line up wide standing up or in the face of an OT with his hand in the dirt. Griffis had the ability to speed or power rush. With his power rush he just bullies the blocker into the backfield with a bull rush.
However, he really shines with speed rushes. Griffis can beat blockers in a variety of ways in this regard. He can simply use his speed to flat out fly around the outside shoulder of the tackle to get to the QB. His ability to get really low and maintain balance and speed helps with this. He often can get way lower than a tackle practically can to block. Griffis has a nice quick spin move he can use to get around blockers. It’s a pretty elite spin that he will use to get past a tackle through the B or C gap. A nice swim move allows him to mix it up and keep a blocker guessing. They can’t assume he will go low. When they do, he uses the swim move to go over top and discard the tackle behind him and get to the QB. Griffis has quick feet as well and it allows him to juke offensive linemen. He can make a fake like he’s going to rush the outside shoulder of a tackle and quickly cut back to the inside, going untouched and leaving the blocker blocking air. He can also switch it up and fake inside and go outside. This ability should allow UofL to run more stunts up front with their defensive line.
Against the run, Griffis is equally adept. It starts with eye discipline and play recognition. Griffis is a very smart player. It’s hard to fool him with fakes. He is able to diagnose whether a play is run or pass well and attack accordingly. That ability comes from his patience. He displays patience when required that allows him to read plays.
Block shedding is something he does very well. In one play, an offensive lineman appears to have him blocked. He’s able to get leverage and rip that lineman to the ground with ease. He’s very good at using his hands to slap the blockers hands down and away. He also is able to keep blockers from getting extension of their arms and leverage on their blocks, making them easier to shed. Once he sheds the block, he gets the RB down.
He utilizes his quickness to make moves almost like a RB. He can stop on a dime, get a lineman off balance, and fly right on by; getting in the backfield for tackles for loss. He also utilized those cuts and jukes to fake linemen out of their shoes. It’s quite extraordinary to watch a big DL do these things.
Griffis is as sure a tackler as you will find anywhere. He wraps up and drives RBs into the ground. However, he’s strong enough that he can make arm tackles while being blocked. Griffis likes to hit though. He puts some stank on his tackles. It’s pretty obvious he likes to make sure the RBs and QBs know he’s going to be a nightmare for them all game by laying the wood. Griffis doesn’t get opponents to the ground, he forces them violently to it.
Strength, as you can tell by some of the descriptions above, is a huge part of Griffis’ game. He can probably add more muscle, which is scary to think, because he looks like he’s college ready now. He throws RBs and OL around like rag dolls. He dictates the action on the field. The thought he can get stronger is ridiculous.
Speed is the other trait Griffis possesses. The guy has great acceleration and burst off the line of scrimmage. It allows him to go nearly untouched most of the time. He can track down RBs, QBs, and even WRs when a jet sweep is utilized by an offense. It makes him a defensive playmaker because he’s never out of any play. A deep pass play? He will rush the passer relentlessly. A short pass play? He can maybe get to the QB or come from behind and track down the receiver. A running play to the side opposite him? He can still rally to the ball and either make the tackle himself or help make the tackle. This is all because of his speed.
Josh Griffis is an every down, playmaking DE. He is a great pass rusher and a great run stuffer. He’s the type of player that can make an immediate impact on the defensive line for UofL. He reminds me a lot of Lorenzo Mauldin. Mauldin could line up both with his hand in the dirt or standing up. He was a great pass rusher and could defend the run. It’s quite amazing watching their highlights because they have some of the same quickness and power. The word elite gets thrown around a lot, but its usage is legit when talking about Griffis. This young man is a game changer on the defensive line because of his pass rushing. I would look for Griffis to come in and become an immediate contributor, if not a starter. He’s that good and what he brings is a skill set I’m not sure anyone on the roster currently has at the DE position.
With the commitment of Josh Griffis, Louisville’s class now has 24 commits. The class is ranked 28th nationally and 6th in the ACC per 247sports.