One of the top playmakers in the area under the Friday night lights will be staying in the state of Florida for his college years. Xavier McGriff, a three-star wide receiver from Baldwin High School, announced his intentions to head to Florida International University.
“It stood out to me when I first met wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill,” McGriff told 1010XL regarding FIU. “He gave me a couple points about the school and how the school operated.
“When I went there what he said was true regarding the campus and the program. He also showed me the academics part and I love that part.”
Not only did McGriff enjoy his interaction with Hill, he also had great things to say about FIU head coach Butch Davis.
“He’s a phenomenal head coach and I love him,” McGriff said. “Just talking with him on the phone, I feel like that’s the head coach I want to play under and that’s the guy I want to be around.”
McGriff (6-foot-22, 182 pounds) committed to FIU over offers from Power Five programs such as North Carolina, Ole Miss and Rutgers because staying in Florida was important to him.
“It’s very important to me because I’m used to the heat and the atmosphere in Florida,” he said. “My family can also most likely make it to every home game, so that was another plus to me too.”
McGriff’s quarterback last season at Baldwin, Gavin Screws, also went through the recruiting process eventually committing and signing with Troy. McGriff says Screws gave him some pointers on how to handle the process.
“He told me to take my time and to really explore my options,” McGriff said. “He also said not to rush anything and don’t let the process get to hectic.”
As for what type of wide receiver FIU is getting in McGriff.
“I’m a big receiver with great ball skills and I get after every catch,” McGriff said. “When the ball is in the air, I’m most likely going to come down with it. When it’s a 50/50 ball, I give myself an 80 percent chance of catching it.”
Baldwin is coming off the best regular season in school history, but suffered a first-round loss in the playoffs one season ago. McGriff is out to change that in 2019.
“We have to bring that intensity from last year over to this year,” McGriff said. “We do need a little more though. I feel like we played good, but we didn’t do enough to win in the playoffs, so we have to do enough this year to win everything.”
Finally, McGriff doesn’t take for granted playing for a town like Baldwin and he says it’s an amazing experience.
“It’s amazing because all the fans love you,” McGriff said. “Day after day we have fans come out to practice. We have a great community that loves their football team and that’s why it’s so amazing to play here.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)