The QB most likely to succeed

Griffin is not just any preteen. In March, he received a special invitation to Manziel's pro day in College Station from the quarterback himself.

"We're sitting and eating in the back room of this country club," Whitfield recalled, "and he says, 'Hey, what about Chase? I need him down here. Let's get him down here.' And this is on the eve of the biggest day of his life."

Manziel believes "C-Geezy" to be good luck. When he finished the last pass of his workout, he gave Griffin the cashing-out handshake on national TV as he left the field.

"It was amazing, surreal," Griffin said. "It might've been a span of three hours, but it felt like 20 minutes."

Griffin had joined Manziel and Mike Evans for their pre-draft training with Whitfield in San Diego. He's seen a kinder side of the mercurial Manziel that most won't understand, and Whitfield can tell the first-rounder straightens up when Griffin is in the room.

"Johnny doesn't really have a kid brother, per se," Whitfield said. "But I think if you asked him, he would probably say Chase is one of the closest candidates to it."

On this, Griffin refuses to brag to his classmates at Ridgeview Middle School in Round Rock. In fact, his fame didn't truly blow up until Feb. 1, when Manziel posted a picture with him online. Within six hours, Griffin had 2,000 new Instagram followers. He shrugs when asked if he understands how cool that is.

At the start of Chase's first three-day session with him in 2012, Whitfield made a vow: "I want to train him all the way up." He hasn't charged a dime for his instruction ever since. When Vince Young was training in Houston, Griffin came to help. He trained with Manziel in College Station this past summer before the Manning Camp, worked with Petty in the spring and Golson and Cook this summer, and he shows up to Elite 11 regional camps just to watch. Wherever and whenever he's needed, Griffin is there.

"It's expensive, but it's not a burden," Will Griffin said. "Look, it's priceless."

Football just part of future

Every dollar spent and every plane ticket to California have been worthwhile well beyond the fact that Chase is becoming a better passer.

"Now that he's shown such a huge interest, I need him to be around people who know football," his father said. "I'm not the guy. That's not my area. I want him around people who know what they're talking about and are good people.

He goes on: "It's Texas, man. You could have this interview with 10,000 dads."

This is a father trying to give his son as much as he can. It's a promise and a standard Will Griffin hold himself to after growing up in a one-parent home in Austin, Texas. He knew who his father was, but the man invested no time or energy in his son. Will is a dad of three today with his wife, Christine, and he'll never make his father's mistake.

This much is certain: Will is not the dad chasing his own unfulfilled dream vicariously through Chase. He quit football after ninth grade. His father-in-law, James Krause, played at Purdue in the late 1960s, but that's about it for family ties to the game.

"I didn't even want him to play football," Will Griffin said. "I wasn't part of that culture. It just wasn't my thing."

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