- UPDATED: Taj Griffin will undergo knee surgery on Tuesday, Sept. 30. “He’s ready to get it over with,” his father Herb Griffin told the AJC on Thursday. “That’s his No. 1 thing — he can’t wait to get it over with.”
Taj Griffin, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose running back, is out for the season after being diagnosed with a torn ACL on Monday.
The McEachern High School star injured his knee while trying to make a tackle on special teams on one of the final plays of Saturday’s 52-49 loss to North Gwinnett in Saturday’s Corky Kell Classic.
“Yes, he’s going to be out for the year,” Taj’s father, Herb Griffin, told the AJC. “The MRI came back and showed that he tore his ACL.
“But you know, he’s in positive spirits. He’s getting his mind right to go through rehab and to get his mind right for next level.
“That’s where we are right now.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Griffin had a sensational debut against North Gwinnett, rushing for three touchdowns in the first quarter. He finished the game with 137 yards rushing.
McEachern’s medical staff originally thought Griffin had a knee sprain until Monday’s MRI results confirmed a much worse diagnosis.
It was devastating news for Griffin, along with McEachern. The Indians, trying to become the first Cobb County school to win a state championship in 47 years, began this season ranked as the No. 1 team in Georgia’s largest classification before Saturday’s loss.
“It’s clearly a disappointment,” Herb Griffin said. “It’s something you don’t want to ever have happen. It’s one of those things that is part of the game. Sooner or later, if you play football, something is going to happen and you’ve got to deal with it. So we’re having to deal with it. And we’ll start rehab as soon as we can.”
Griffin committed to Oregon over Clemson and UGA last spring. He was scheduled to take an official visit to Oregon this weekend but now will delay it until after his knee surgery which will take place in the next two weeks.
Griffin’s older brother, Ty Griffin, transferred to Oregon this summer after playing quarterback at Georgia Tech last year.
Griffin is rated as a 5-star by 247sports. In the composite rankings, Griffin is listed as a 4-star and the state’s No. 6 overall prospect. His torn ACL was first reported by Score Atlanta’s Stephen Black.