Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 24 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 25 "I love that I get to be really physi- cal," he said. "I'm not afraid of con- tact. Any time there is a run out there, I'm ready to set the edge and be ready to make a play on the run- ning back, or just get up and make a play on the receiver." Holding true to proper technique play after play — and being able to mentally bounce back when he doesn't — are what will be most pivotal to his success this season and beyond. No one in the defensive backfield graded out better in the weight room this winter than Griffith, so now it's a matter of honing those tools to trans- late on to the playing field while playing opposite senior Pride, who could succeed Love as a Notre Dame All-America candidate this year. "He's very good with his hands, he's a very fluid corner," Pride said of Griffith. "If you go look at the weight room board, he's at the top [among defensive backs]. "He's a natural athlete, a natural competitor. Those traits, regard- less, are going to make you a great player." Meanwhile, Griffith playing to his personality also has been empha- sized by none other than fellow Chicagoland native Love, who he's known and worked out with for a number of years. "He told me he's excited for me, just have fun out there, show my personality … do what you do," Griffith said. "He chats it up with me all the time," Pride said of Griffith, who dons jersey No. 3 while Pride wears No. 5. "We've got the saying, 'If you want to stay alive, stay away from 3 and 5.'" "I love talking, I've never been a shy guy," Griffith said. "I just love being me and just having personality out there on the field. … It's all natural. "I'm not going to get too personal. These are my teammates, you can't just be talking bad about them … just compete and have fun." In 2019 for Griffith, it looks like it's going to be all about playing the field at corner. ✦ After working at nickel and safety his freshman year, Griffith shifted this spring to cornerback, where his coverage skills will be tested. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL

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