The QB most likely to succeed

Christine, a middle school language teacher currently on maternity leave, graduated from Georgetown and got her master's at Columbia. Will graduated from Dartmouth and Harvard Law and is currently an entrepreneur. Previously, he worked as an analyst for Goldman Sachs and later as a media consultant in Los Angeles. He tries to schedule all his meetings for Monday or Friday so that he can devote as much of every other day as possible to his children.

Will Griffin's enthusiasm isn't limited to Chase's football potential. He gets just as excited when Chase describes his vision of pursuing marine biology, with a goal of developing a foam that can desalinate water. He and a buddy hope to turn the Gulf of Mexico into an aquifer.

"I want to find a more efficient way to clean salt water and purify it into drinking water, so that water can become more accessible to people who need it," Griffin said.

Dad is no less proud of Chase's dedication to orchestra, which began with Suzuki violin lessons at age 4. He's hesitant to reveal his son's recent SAT test score, but suffice it to say 2,400 is the goal next time.

"He's smarter than me," Whitfield said, "but I was a little nerd too."

First step on long road

Whitfield can't help but see himself in Griffin. That's one reason the famed QB trainer took an interest in the kid as an 11-year-old.

"I don't have kids, and he's too young to be a kid brother, but there's a lot of him in me," Whitfield said. "He's me in hyper-drive. If I were 11 or 12 or 13, Chase and I would be best friends -- without question. He'd be my absolute dude."

The 36-year-old coach calls him the most charismatic, polite young man he's ever met. Whitfield is proud that Griffin occasionally gets mistaken for his son in public. But he can't evaluate the boy's physical traits like his other passers because, for now, facts are facts.

Griffin is 5-foot-3½ and 125 pounds. He's praying for a growth spurt, and Will Griffin (who is 5-foot-11) says doctors are projecting 6 feet or 6-foot-1. Griffin is no physical specimen with rare genes.

So he sets his sights on the attainable. He idolizes Drew Brees -- a fellow Austin native -- and Russell Wilson just as much as he does Manziel, and he hopes he can follow in their footsteps as an undersized passing surgeon. He compensates by being smarter and sharper and by making sure nobody practices better.

"My goal is to be starting by sophomore year," he said. "If I do that, that means I've really got my skill-set up to a point where a coach thinks I can start as a 15-year-old in 6A Texas football. That's a goal that's very realistic if I keep working."

Having an impeccable resume won't make him QB No. 1 at Cedar Ridge High School next year, though, and his father knows that.

This is a results-driven game. Either you make plays, or you don't. The family's intense dedication to training and studying is all about giving Griffin the tools he'll need when he's older, taller and ready.

"He's killing it in the little stuff he can do," Will Griffin said. "But, in perspective, it's still not Friday night."

Dad's main goal is for Chase to get into an Ivy League school. A framed, crimson Harvard sign hangs behind his home office desk. Whitfield and his fellow Elite 11 coaches believe wholeheartedly in a larger ambition: "We all kid him about becoming the president of the United States."

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