It’s sad when a player’s collegiate career gets cut out before they get a chance to see how far they could go in their sport. This could end up being the story of Nick Griffin, running back for the Mississippi St. Bulldogs. Unfortunately for Griffin, he won’t be playing with the rest of the Bulldogs against the Northwestern Wildcats in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Griffin won’t be playing because he tore the ACL on his right knee during practice about a week and a half ago.
Currently Griffin is a sophomore and that’s a good thing because it means he at least has time to come back from this. The problem for him as a football player is the fact that this is the second such injury he’s suffered in the last two years. His other such injury was a torn ACL on his left knee. Such a history does damage a player’s reputation if only because it makes them an injury risk.
Griffin got significantly more playing time and more touches this season and whether or not LaDarius Parkins, current starting running back for the Bulldogs, returns to the Bulldogs for his senior season may have been the main factor in whether or not Griffin would be a starter in 2013. This injury obviously changes things. An injury like this forces the injured player to prove himself as a player all over again. It’s unfortunate, but necessary due to the severity of the injury and the importance of healthy knees for a football player, let alone a man playing Griffin’s position.
Griffin is a sad example that life is timing and that timing can be very cruel sometimes. Griffin had been gradually moving up the ladder at running back for the Bulldogs, getting more and more playing time as he went along, finally is nearing a chance where he may have ended up being a more permanent part of the Bulldogs’ offense, and then an injury like this happens.
It’s tough to say which twist of fate was worse: Griffin’s or Marcus Lattimore‘s. Both play running back, both are in the SEC, and both have dealt with multiple major knee injuries while in college. The fact that Lattimore appears heading to the NFL makes me believe Griffin’s is worse. I believe this because at least Lattimore appears as though he will take his shot at playing professionally and likely will step onto an NFL field someday. For Griffin, this injury means his chances of ever getting to that level just took a big hit.