His socks will tell the story

His socks will tell the story

DANVILLE — Caleb Griffin has made a college decision about where he will continue his football career. Danville's multi-sport star — he also plays soccer, basketball and baseball for the Vikings — just wants to announce it on his terms.

He'll do that Friday at a boys' basketball game between the Vikings and visiting Big 12 Conference foe Peoria Manual. But he won't stand in front of a crowd or hop on a microphone. The senior has a better idea: wearing socks that sport the logo of his school of choice.

"I was thinking about coming out in a shirt (of the chosen school) for warmups," Griffin said. "Then I was thinking I was pulling myself too far from the team and the fact we have a game real soon. So I checked everybody's socks, and some guys had random ones that didn't match the team colors. This is a random way (to announce), and it'll work for me."

The Vikings will come out for an initial warmup session after the junior varsity tilt, then head back to the locker room. Their second time out, Griffin said he'll be wearing his future-determining socks.

Griffin, also a standout for the boys' soccer team, said his future team will utilize his trusty right foot for field goals and kickoffs. Griffin holds scholarship offers from Ball State, Bowling Green and Illinois State, along with preferred walk-on spots from Illinois, Iowa and Virginia Tech. Griffin visited the Hokies in mid-January, the same weekend he kicked at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

Griffin was among 121 athletes from across the nation chosen for the Jan. 14 game, and one of just six specialists.

"It was a lot of fun being around guys from other states and other schools," Griffin said. "The quarterback on my team (Valor Christian's Blake Stenstrom) is going to Colorado. One of the running backs has like 39 offers. One of the defensive tackles (Nazareth Academy's Isaiah Lee) is going to Iowa State. We kind of formed a bond as a team."

Griffin said he didn't have the best game, missing all three of his field goal attempts. But outside of a 37-yarder that dinged off the left upright, Griffin's other two shortcomings were on a 59-yard attempt and a 42-yarder that was blocked despite a rule not allowing defensive rushes up the middle.

"In my head, I was like, 'I did terrible (in the game),'" he said. "But then when you think more about it, it's not that awful."

One unfortunate aspect of this unique experience for Griffin was that several family members who trekked to Jacksonville to watch his exploits had to leave before the opening kickoff. The showcase was originally slated for Jan. 13, but the date was moved due to concerns over the field's main tenant, the Jaguars, possibly having to host an NFL playoff game the same day.

All in all, though, Griffin was thrilled to experience something only a handful of prep football players are invited to each year.

"It was really cool," he said. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. During warmups, we were watching the Jaguars on TV, and then we got to play on their field."