June 23, 2011

Second specialist commits

After visiting Purdue over the weekend, North Carolina place-kicker Paul Griggs was overwhelmed by what he saw from the Boilermakers.

So much so that the Charlotte native gave Coach Danny Hope his verbal commitment Thursday night. Griggs says he was particularly impressed by Purdue's commitment to special teams, with a designated coordinator in J.B. Gibboney.

"Right off the bat, Coach Gibboney and the draw that he brings to the program, being a (former) kicker himself and the knowledge that he brings," Griggs said late Thursday night. "He has the expertise to be able to coach the position, which I think is invaluable to the program."

Griggs' commitment comes on the heels of the reported commitment of Virginia Thomas Meadows to Purdue a day before. It's now believed Meadows has committed as primarily a punter.

Purdue's put on a full-court press of late in recruiting a kicker, with senior Carson Wiggs set to graduate. After receiving his offer in late May, Griggs took an unofficial trip to Purdue from Thursday through Sunday. It was his second visit to West Lafayette, after coming here for a junior day in March.

"Coach Hope told us when we were there this past weekend and again tonight when we talked to him on the phone, that he expects me to be the heir apparent to Carson Wiggs," said Griggs, Purdue's fourth verbal of the '12 class. "He wants me to come in and start and win games for them as a freshman at the field goal and kickoff positions."

As a junior at Latin High School, Griggs hit 8-of-11 field goals, including a school-record long of 48 yards. He also punts, with an average of 39 yards. Griggs had offers from Rutgers and Yale, but was also seeing interest from Duke, Virginia, UNC, South Carolina and UConn, which had come on strong late.

Griggs says that Wiggs, who hit 15-of-19 field goals last season and gained national notoriety this spring by hitting a 67-yarder, played a part in his decision.

"Obviously it's good to see, not only a huge commitment verbally from the coaches at Purdue," Griggs said, "and Coach Gibboney's background as a kicker is obviously very nice. But it's also good to see live results of a nearly finished product, if you will, in Carson Wiggs. That definitely solidified a lot of what we were hearing from the coaches."

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