Former Arizona defensive tackle announced Saturday he will spend his final season of college football as a Chippewa. Griffin announced in January that he would leave Tucson, but was treated as a senior throughout the season.
A 4-star recruit out of powerhouse Bellevue High School in Bellevue, Wash., Griffin was one of the heralded recruits in Arizona’s 2014 class, but struggled to find his footing as a Wildcat. He appeared in just 11 games over his four seasons in Tucson, recording five tackles.
Griffin revealed his commitment to Central Michigan on Twitter.
Central Michigan went 8-5 in 2017, finishing second in the MAC West before falling to Wyoming in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Chips finished 24th nationally and second in the MAC in yards per play allowed.
Griffin could slide into the starting lineup for Central Michigan as defensive tackle Chris Kantzavelos was a senior in ’17.
Nearly two months after leaving Arizona, Trevor Wood has landed at another Power Five football program.
On his personal Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, Wood announced that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Texas A&M. As a graduate transfer, Wood will be eligible to play for the Aggies in 2018.
The 6-6, 265-pound Wood spent most of his Arizona career as a tight end, but was moved to defensive end late in the 2017 season. Part of the reason for leaving the Wildcats was his desire to get back to playing tight end in an offense that’ll utilize the position.
Wood, a three-star 2014 signee, played in 36 games at UA, starting two of those contests; both of those starts came during the 2016 season. He caught nine passes for 63 yards and a touchdown during his time in the desert.
And, for those who haven’t yet made the connection, Arizona is now coached by Kevin Sumlin, who was the head coach last season at… Texas A&M before being fired in late November.
Though it actually wasn’t what pushed him out of his job, a sexual harassment lawsuit is what got the ball rolling to push Rich Rodriguez out at Arizona.
He’s now saying that suit is an extortion attempt.
Rodriguez’s former assistant Melissa Wilhelmsen accused Rodriguez of verbally and physically harassing her, centering on a number of instances in which she says he made passes at her breasts or allowed others to do so in his presence. Rodriguez has formally denied all such instances, using as evidence that no other woman at any of his other coaching stops ever made such complaints about him.
But, according to a filing Rodriguez’s attorneys made with Arizona’s Attorney General’s office, which was obtained by the Arizona Republic, the heart of Rodriguez’s grievance centers around money. Wilhelmsen’s suit seeks a $7.5 million payment from Rodriguez, and the suit claims that Wilhelmen’s representation made a thinly-veiled extortion attempt at getting such money. First, Rodriguez’s side says it was told it would take “millions of dollars” to make the case go away, and then said that Wilhelmen’s formal demand letter, which requested the $7.5 million be paid by Dec. 26, was an extortion tactic, since Arizona was slated to play in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 27.
“Demanding the payment the day before the Bowl Game was vicious, cut-throat, and explainable only as the ultimate threat to extort Coach and Mrs. Rodriguez of the $7.5 million,” the filing said.
Wilhelmsen has since filed a second claim finding the university at fault for knowingly employing Rodriguez and allowing him to supervise an employee he was actively harassing.
Arizona could not verify Wilhelmsen’s claims, but still fired Rodriguez without cause on Jan. 2 after finding information that “caused it to be concerned with the direction and climate of the football program.”
An already crowded graduate transfer market has gained yet another entrant.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, Brandon Dawkins announced that he has decided to transfer out of new head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s football program. While no specific reason was given for the quarterback’s decision to move on, the presence of a Heisman Trophy contender, rising junior Khalil Tate, for the next two seasons likely played a significant role.
Dawkins is set to graduate this May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.
Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before Tate took over. For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.
Yes, punters are people too, which means they can transfer as well.
The latest example of what’s a rather rare phenomenon is Dylan Klumph, who announced on Twitter Friday night that he has decided to takes his leave of the Cal football program. Not only that, Klumph revealed his destination — Kevin Sumlin‘s Arizona Wildcats.
The punter will be leaving the Bears as a graduate transfer, giving him immediate eligibility at the Pac-12 school for what will be his final season.
Originally a junior college transfer who redshirted his 2015 season at Cal, Klumph has averaged 43.9 yards per punt the past two years. According to his official Cal bio, he’s the all-time leading punter in the school’s history.
Klumph’s 44.8 yards per punt average in 2016 was second in the conference and good for eighth nationally. This past season, he averaged 43 yards on his 46 punts.
Of his 96 career punts, 29 were placed inside of the 20-yard line and just six went into the end zone for touchbacks.