Griffen Faces High Expectations

Cajun Redzone Publisher
Posted Aug 11, 2011


Fr. High School All-American RB Qyen Griffen comes in to Louisiana’s football program as the most highly touted recruit in the Ragin’Cajuns 2011 Class. The “5-10”, 225-pound back was named Mississippi’s 2010 Mr. Football playing on a National Champion South Panola team, but you wouldn’t know it from his quiet demeanor.

After rushing for 2,670 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior on Mississippi’s South Panola national championship team, you would think freshman running back Qyen Griffen would beam with confidence, but all this quiet kid from Batesville wants to do is fit in with the rest of team at UL. What has been his biggest challenge in trying to just fit in quietly with the other incoming freshmen?

“I think everyone has been really good at helping me adjust to campus life,” Griffen stated. “The coaches, graduate assistants and my teammates have made sure I felt welcomed here and that I’ve stayed focus on getting eligible. I really haven’t felt any pressure coming in because I just tried to work hard and do what is expected of me from my coaches.”

Coming out of high school one of the few criticisms heard about Qyen was that he only played running back or was the featured back at South Panola his senior year, what adjustments has he been asked to make in Louisiana’s Spread offense?

“Well, I really don’t think there is much more that I’ve been asked to do in this offense, than I was asked to do in high school,” said Qyen. “I think I’ve picked up some things pretty well and feel comfortable with catching the ball or blocking in the offense. The toughest adjust for me has been the speed of the game. Everything happens right in front of you at a much faster pace and you have very little time to react. The athletes are bigger and faster at this level, that has been hardest adjust for me at this time.”

Qyen Griffen had a number of large schools interest in his services, but most of them wanted to wait on offering because his eligibility remained in question. Why did he sign with UL instead of waiting on opportunities with BCS program this summer?

“I just had this special connection with Coach Hudspeth,” Qyen stated. “He told me that he was going to turn the UL program around and that I could be part of that transition as a true freshman. We just connected with each other and I hope it remains that way my four years here in Lafayette. This is the right place for me and the coaches have made me feel like I’ve made the right decision in signing with UL.”

If Qyen had to compare his style or pattern himself after a running back, who would that athlete be?

“I would say Maurice Jones-Drew,” said Griffen. “He runs with power, bounces off defenders like a bowling ball and catches the ball well out of the backfield. He is a guy that I feel my running style is similar to and I guy I pattern myself after. Some people have told me I’m similar to Mark Ingram from Alabama. I think both of those guys are great examples to pattern myself after. I feel I can do many of those things and hopefully I will have the chance to prove it on the field this season.

What has been the hardest adjustment for Qyen in the Cajun’s offensive system?

“I’d have to say picking up the blitzes,” Qyen stated. “The first day I had to do it, I was totally surprised by the speed those linebackers, defensive ends and safeties coming off the corners. Within a few steps and they are right on top of you in the backfield. Just the speed of those guys and trying to block them has been the hardest adjustment for me this fall.”

What are Qyen Griffen’s goals for his freshman season?

“Coach Hudspeth came in to change this program and I’ve made the commitment to come in and help this team win,” said Griffen. “I want to help this team make it to a bowl game and I feel like that’s my job. I want to also stay healthy so that I can perform and help this program move forward and not backwards like last season. I want to be part of helping coach change this program into a winner.”


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