The QB most likely to succeed

Chase Griffin

ROUND ROCK, Texas -- Chase Griffin is a 13-year-old prodigy in every sense of the word. He's a 99th-percentile test-taker and chamber orchestra violinist who's already plotting to one day run a water purification startup, then maybe run for president.

But he'd rather be a quarterback. The eighth-grader's passion for passing has become a blossoming fascination in the past two years. Luckily for Griffin, he has friends in high places ensuring he maximizes his on-field potential.

As he says on his Twitter bio, he's your favorite quarterback's favorite quarterback. In fact, more than 45 college and NFL QBs follow Griffin on Twitter.

This week, Griffin resumes his prized duties as official ball boy at the Elite 11 finals in Oregon. The boy wonder is known there for his love of running at all times -- out to drills, when laying out cones and hanging banners, even when delivering coffee -- and his readiness to speak up in meetings and film sessions full of future college QBs. He got the gig in 2012 and just keeps coming back.

"It definitely gives you a great head start," Griffin said.

Griffin has been called gifted, advanced and precocious, but that's easy to see. It's his dedication to the craft that he hopes will set him apart someday.

He has already trained or worked with QB guru George Whitfield more than a dozen times. Ask what's wrong with his game, and Griffin gets right to the nuts and bolts of how he's carrying his elbow too high on drops and must "keep it dry." He's trying to drive more power from his whole body on throws. He mentions he recently learned how to dissect the Cover 6 defense.

You won't find many kids his age who say their summer goals include learning offensive line protections.

"I can tell you, from the neck up, he's on what I would call an accelerated program," Whitfield said. "He is really getting a chance to understand the office of the quarterback."

Griffin can describe in deep detail what he's learned from training with Johnny Manziel, Bryce Petty, Braxton Miller, Everett Golson, Logan Thomas, Connor Cook and so many other Whitfield protégés. Griffin is a sponge around them, and he is constantly asking questions and filling his notebook with their advice.

"It's always fun to have that little kid there because he's doing it for the fun," Petty said. "It reminds you what you started this for."

The only time Griffin was ever starstruck, his father, Will Griffin, said, came at last year's Elite 11. Aaron Rodgers asked him to fetch some sunscreen. When Griffin delivered -- and you better believe he ran -- he received a hug and a "You're the man" from the impressed Packer.

"Chase is like a human icebreaker," said Brian Stumpf, an Elite 11 camp director for Student Sports. "He gets the guys smiling and reminds them it's a boy's game."

Already among elite company

Griffin's competitiveness is unmistakable in summer camp settings. He sprints to every drill, is always first in line and cheats up in line whenever he can. When he gets home, Chase downloads the videos Will shoots on a camcorder and studies the tape. During the season, he puts in weekly work with the coach who first taught him to pass, former NFL quarterback Jeff Blake.

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