From Panther to Bobcat.
Griffin Davies, who led Elyria Catholic to the playoffs for the first time in a decade this season, has decided to play college football at Ohio University.
In earning Division V All-Ohio first-team honors as a defensive lineman this season, Davies led the Elyria Catholic defense with 173 tackles, 27.5 tackles for a loss, nine sacks and 17 quarterback hurries.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder was third-team all-state following his junior season.
“That kid is spectacular,” Elyria Catholic coach Brian Fox said of Davies. “Physically he’s got all the gifts and he’s extremely athletic. The way he sinks his hips and moves is extremely impressive. His leadership, his excitement and his intensity really saved it for us at points this season.
“I couldn’t be happier that he’s getting to go to his dream school and that they came through at the end for him.”
It didn’t take long for Davies to decide on OU.
“I have a lot of family ties down there,” he said. “My cousins live down in Athens and my sister, Adrianna, is a senior there. I’ve always visited down there and thought it’s a beautiful school.
“I went down there on my official visit this past weekend. I had an awesome host named Bryce and it was just a home run. I’ve always dreamed of going to Ohio University and it just so happened that I got the opportunity to. I took it immediately.”
Davies will be one of two Lorain County natives on the Bobcats roster. Keystone graduate Austin Conrad, the starting tight end, will be a redshirt junior next season.
After his sophomore season, Davies weighed 195 pounds. Fox said Davies’ hard work transforming his body paid off.
“He absolutely loved the weight room,” he said. “He came into the offseason at about 200 or 210 pounds, so we were able to get 40 on him. I think, in no time, he’s going to be up to 280 and we’re not going to recognize him.”
Davies had a lot of people to thank.
“It’s awesome to get the chance to play at the highest level,” he said. “Bowl games and things like that … it’s surreal. I have to thank my trainers, Justin Leonard and Eric Kislea, my physical therapist Todd Lewarchick, my parents (Mike and Karen Davies) as well as the rest of my family.
“I also had an awesome coach, Coach Fox, and his awesome staff and my teammates, who pushed me day in, day out.”
Fox, in turn, wanted to thank Davies for what he was able to do in helping the Panthers qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
“When he called and told me about OU I told him we couldn’t have done it without him,” Fox said. “I truly mean that. He was the heart and soul. He was the leader of this group that was always about his team.
“He made things work. He was a leader when we were struggling at 3-2, and you saw the change in this team because of leaders like him and Jack Decker.
“(Griffin) was all about the recognition of others and is the perfect example of how to support and what makes a team. He had a lot of confidence, so it was never surprising to see him point the finger at the greatness of somebody else.”
As he gets ready to move on to Athens, Davies said he has a lot of appreciation for his high school.
“The community at Elyria Catholic is amazing,” he said. “They showed us so much support throughout the season. Even when, sadly, we lost, they always made sure we kept our heads up.
“EC does an awesome job. There are great teachers that really care about you and want to see you succeed. All the teachers at EC bring these amazing resumes that are more than just academics.
“I hope to leave a positive attitude and a smile. I try to come in every day smiling and happy, never angry about anything. That’s the one big thing I like to stress, being positive. That’s how I hope the remember me.”
- High School football: EC lands four on first-team All-Ohio list; Brian Fox named coach of the year
- High school football: EC rewarded for big season as All-Lorain County lists released
- High school football: Elyria Catholic overpowering teams with its smashmouth juggernaut formation
- EC's Griffin Davies, Columbia's Brandon Coleman named all-district players of the year
- High school football: When the going got tough this season, the Elyria Catholic defense got tougher
- High school football: Elyria Catholic dominates again
- High school football 2018: New Elyria Catholic coach Brian Fox hoping program's past can inspire present ... and future
- High school football: Oberlin's Devan Yarber named offensive Player of the Year in Division VI