WR Trey Griffey follows his own path at Shrine Game
It is not lost on Trey Griffey that his college football career at the University of Arizona will be bookended by two showcase games -- the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game, catching passes from Jameis Winston, and now in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game -- in a baseball stadium.
And as the receiver prepares for a return to Tropicana Field, two days after his 23rd birthday, George Kenneth Griffey III appreciates that just as his father Ken Jr. found immense stardom from following his father's footsteps in baseball, he's had the freedom to carve his own path in choosing football.
"I've loved it. I've had a lot of success in football," said Griffey after an afternoon practice at St. Petersburg High School, wearing a navy No. 5 jersey while still sporting his Arizona helmet. "I just have more of a love for football than I do for baseball. (Griffey Jr.) has always been supportive of my decisions, knows I'm going to make the best decisions for me. Like any father would do, he supports me in everything."
Griffey, who shares his father's 6-foot-3 frame but weighs about 20 pounds more at 216, finished his four years with Arizona with 79 catches for 1,241 yards and six touchdowns, including a 95-yard touchdown against rival Arizona State in 2015. Born and raised in Orlando, he's close enough for his family to be on hand for Saturday's game, thankful that his father has made sure to be at his games, even all the way across the country at Arizona, where sister Taryn is a sophomore guard on the Wildcats' basketball team.
"He was at every game for all the years," Griffey said. "Even when I was redshirting, he showed up at every game. My mom came, everybody came."
Trey Griffey hasn't played baseball since before high school, but his name carries enough weight that the Mariners drafted him in the 24th round -- his father's number with his old team -- last summer, more as a tribute to the family as anything else. His brother Tevin is a 14-year-old freshman in Orlando, still unsure what sport he'll stick with in the future.
"Football, basketball, baseball, everything," he said.