Jonesboro rising juniors Jordon Griffin, left, and Jeffrey Taylor have been invited to play in the Elite Junior Classic this December at McEachern High. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
JONESBORO — Two Jonesboro football players were recently selected to play in one of Georgia’s most prestigious all-star games.
Cornerback Jordan Griffin and offensive lineman Jeffrey Taylor have been chosen to play in the Elite Junior Classic that will take place in December at McEachern High school.
“They’re both great players with high skill levels but are also leaders on the team,” said assistant coach Jason Griffin, who’s also Jordan’s older brother. “They do the little things that push the rest of the team to get better so we can accomplish our goals.”
Players in this game were nominated and then selected by a group of coaches around the state. The game will put players in a prime position to showcase their talent to college recruiters and compete against the state’s best.
“When I first heard I was selected, I was very excited and humbled by the opportunity,” Taylor said. “When I go out there, I just want to compete and prove that I belong among the best in the state.”
This is not only a chance for athletes to highlight themselves, but it is yet another opportunity that puts Jonesboro athletics on the map.
“When we go out there we’re not only going out there for ourselves, we’re going out there for our school,” Jordan Griffin added. “If we play well then people will take a harder look at our program, and that opens the door for younger guys to have similar success.”
Jonesboro quarterback Zerrick Cooper received an invitation to play in the prestigious RisingSenior All-Star Game in December at Atlanta’s Grady Stadium. Riverdale defesive end Chidi Okonya has also been selected for that game.
Cooper has several offers including ones from Kentucky, Miami, Clemson, North Carolina State, Ohio State and West Virginia to name a few. Okonya has 11 offers including Georgia, Duke, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
As Griffin and Taylor are only rising juniors and already receiving accolades such as these, it could be seen as a foreshadowing of the future for them. For now though, they will accept this award gracefully and continue to stay humble and focused on the goal at hand.
“I’m not too caught in the hype, I want to learn and compete with the best so I can be the best,” Taylor said. “I can worry about awards later. Right now I’m focusing on my grades and my craft so that the awards can keeping coming in the future.”
Jonesboro is on the rise under sixth year head coach Tim Floyd. The Cardinals, in their last three seasons, have compiled a record of 24-8. And with players like Griffin and Taylor leading the way there’s reason to believe that Jonesboro is ready to travel to new heights.
“I’m really looking forward to this season and seeing what the players can do,” Jason Griffin said. “We’ve been working hard and have a new mindset.”
That mindset is a championship one.
“We have players on the basketball team and on the football team who have been to the top and know what it takes. Now we understand that it’s possible and have devoted ourselves to doing whatever it takes to win,” he said.