Update on nation’s No. 1 all-purpose running back

McEachern High School’s Taj Griffin, who is rated as the nation’s No. 1 all-purpose running back, is expected to undergo next surgery within the next two weeks.

Griffin, who is committed to Oregon, suffered a torn ACL on one of the final plays of McEachern’s season-opener on Aug. 25.

Taj Griffin (AJC/Michael Carvell)

Taj Griffin (AJC/Michael Carvell)

“He had consultation (last week), and the doctor wanted him to rehab just a little bit more,” his father, Herb Griffin, told the AJC.

“He wanted his leg a little bit straighter than it is right now before he does the surgery. So we go back in this week for another consultation. It is probably going to get scheduled the following week, depending on what it looks like.”

How is Griffin handling the disappointment of missing his senior season? “He is doing really good,” his father said. “You probably saw he signed his financial-aid agreement. We were in Oregon for his official visit (for the 46-27 win over Michigan State). He had a great visit. He’s pretty excited about getting the surgery over with, getting back on his feet, and getting out there in January. He’s excited about moving on to the next phase.”

The elder Griffin was asked to rank the official visit to Oregon on a scale of 1-10.

“I would say his official visit was about a 10,” he said. “Or I would say a 9. The only reason it wasn’t a 10 is because Taj was injured. We had a great time. We had a lot of good food. It was obviously a good game. That was a big highlight to be able to go down to the locker room, and be a part of that.

“The coaches were extremely supportive, and they were glad to see him. They had a positive outlook on where they think things are going to be next season. So it was a very, very positive and uplifting visit.”

After injuring his knee, Griffin was only on crutches for a couple of days. Although football is out, Griffin has resumed many of his normal physical activities.

“He’s actually walking and riding a bike,” his father said. “He’s at the point where he can jog pretty good now, and squat. The only issue is his ability to completely straighten out his leg. The doctor wants a little more flexibility because that could have some detriment on his speed if that’s not completely straightened out.

“The doctor has given Taj some exercises to get it completely straightened out to be able to have full functionality prior to surgery. The Oregon staff was very surprised with how well he could get around – walking up stairs and down the stairs. They were pretty excited to see how mobile he was so soon after the injury.”

Griffin’s father said Oregon’s coaches let the family know he was still a top recruiting priority.

“They look forward seeing him be the Taj Griffin he was prior to the injury. So that’s what there outlook is. There are no reservations at all about what their thought process is about the situation.”

Griffin committed to Oregon over Clemson and UGA. A primary factor was that Oregon signed his older brother, Georgia Tech quarterback transfer Ty Griffin, this past summer. Taj plans to enroll at Oregon in January.


Got an item? mcarvell@ajc.com


— By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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