QB or not QB? Griggs answers the question

Published 1:57 am Wednesday, October 1, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — Thunder crackled over the Tigers football team as they practiced on Tuesday, but the storm hit Williamston way before that.
It’s was Aug. 9 when quarterback Cedric Moody suffered an ankle injury that spun the Tigers’ season into a whirlwind. However, with the emergence of Emery Griggs, the calm seems to be settling in after the storm.
Heading into the season, Williamston head coach Asim McGill tweaked his offense to run around the elusive Moody at quarterback, and featured the speedy Griggs at fullback. When Moody injured his knee during the team’s Week 2 battle with Edenton, it changed the complexion of the Tigers’ offense drastically.
Griggs, who never played quarterback in his life, would now be the signal caller, while tight end Derek Everett would slide into Griggs’ fullback spot.
The thought behind the move was that Williamston (2-3, 1-0) could become more of a rushing team with the 6-2, 220-pound Griggs running a bunch of QB leads and options, while the burly Everett could wear out opposing defenses.
At the time, it looked like the usually potent air attack of the Tigers would be sidelined as long as Moody was.
Griggs completed a few passes in his debut at quarterback, and nearly led his team past the 2-A Nighthawks in his quarterback debut.
Griggs said the transition from fullback to QB was a smooth one.
The throws were not pretty, but they got the job done.
In his second start against North Pitt the Tigers’ new QB launched the ball from his shoulder with a motion that would make Bernie Kosar look like Peyton Manning.
If it looked as if Griggs was shot-putting the ball to his receivers, that because he probably was.
The Tigers don’t want to overhaul Griggs’ delivery, just tweak it a little. So far Griggs has complied.
While he is still getting used to passing the ball, Griggs hasn’t forgot how to run it. In last Friday’s 26-6 win over Manteo, Griggs carried the ball 23 times for over 200 yards.
McGill likened Griggs’ style to that of Florida quarterback, and 2007 Heisman winner Tim Tebow.
Griggs has progressed so rapidly that when Moody does come back, which is estimated to be around the end of October, McGill just might leave Griggs behind center.
With Emery taking the snaps, Moody could go back to his old position of running back, which he excelled at last year as a sophomore.
Either way, McGill said his team will be much more versatile down the stretch.
One aspect of the position that Griggs does not need to work on is his presence. All quarterbacks are asked to lead their team in one way or another, and McGill said the team has rallied behind him.
Griggs’ work ethic caught more than just his teammates attention. The senior is a serious candidate to play in the Shrine Bowl, which pits North Carolina’s top players against South Carolina’s. Griggs made the first cut, and is one of 130 finalists that will be considered for the team.
Griggs will get another shot to prove himself Shrine Bowl worthy when he and the Tigers take on Camden this Friday.