| By Myra Bean
South Panola fullback/tailback and punter Jeramie Griffin is all about football.
He does not have any other interests outside of football except playing some basketball when he’s hanging out with his friends. He said he has always wanted to play football.
He burst through the opponent’s defensive lines two years ago and immediately made a name for himself as a worthy fullback behind quarterback Derek Pegues and tailback Germichael Sanford his sophomore year.
His nickname is "J Grif."
He carried the ball 68 times his sophomore year for 797 yards, caught two passes for 14 yards and scored eight touchdowns.
His roles on the football field underwent a change when Sanford went out for the season with a knee injury at the beginning of the 2005 season.
Griffin, along with first year starting quarterback Leroy Diggs and backup tailback Rickey Sanford, would have to take on more major roles than first expected.
The 6’0, 230 pound fullback was bigger on the field than his size would portray. He clocks a 4.45 second 40-yard dash, according to .
In 2005 he compiled stats of 123 rushes, 1,116 rushing yards, six receptions, 255 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. As a punter, he had 34 punts for 1,131 yards, averaging 33.3 yards/punt.
He has verbally committed to play on the collegiate level at The University of Mississippi following his senior year.
National Day of signing is February 7, 2007.
Griffin said he committed to Ole Miss in large part because his good friend, Chris Strong, committed to play for the Rebels.
"He kind of drew me over," Griffin said. "I enjoy playing with him on Friday nights so we are taking it to Saturday evenings, nights, whatever."
Griffin said he also enjoys the Rebels’ "style" of play.
Only the top standout players in each state are recognized nationally by Max Emfinger, who is one of the nation’s top recruiting gurus.
As a fullback, Griffin is ranked No. 2 on Emfinger’s list with a 6.52 rating. Players with a 6.51 and above are considered to be the top 125 playmakers in the country on Emfinger’s list. Emfinger only listed 14 players with a 6.53 ranking.
National recruits playing on a nationally ranked football team bring lots of looks South Panola’s way. These levels South Panola has attained could bring a lot of pressure to the coaches and top ranked players.
Griffin said there was "none on me," in regards to the pressure he feels to produce according to these rankings.
"I just go out and play like a normal high school team," he said. "I’m out there having fun, trying to win and bring home the fourth (state) championship."
Griffin said he thinks South Panola and he are deserving of those national ranking accolades.
"You deserve anything you work hard for," he said. "It pays off when you work hard and you deserve every bit of it."
According to Griffin, the coaches just ask him to show up when he is supposed to and show some leadership.
"They ask me to show to the younger guys the right leadership so that when their turn comes, they can go by my example," Griffin said.
He said it is only a heavy burden if he makes it a heavy burden.
Griffin demands more of himself.
"I try to do more than anyone else," he said. "I try to set an example and set a level that everyone can reach.
"I don’t want it to be where the team is here and I am away from the team," he continued. "I want to be a part of the team as a family."
South Panola’s schedule will be the same as last year’s. Griffin said the teams who he thinks will be the ones to watch out for this year are Moss Point and Clarksdale.
The Tigers will open the season with Clarksdale on Thursday, August 24 and play Moss Point for the second game on September 1.
Some heretofore unknown information about Griffin includes the fact that his favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins. He also looks up to a lot of players from the 2003 South Panola state football championship team.
He plans to have at least as much fun this upcoming year as he has the last two years.
"This is my last year playing," he said. "I have enjoyed my whole career. I am going to miss my players, coaches, the whole atmosphere. I love it."
He is the son of Ammie Griffin and G. D. Miles. He has a younger brother and younger sister. His grandfather is George C. Griffin.