Offers piling up for Morgan Park athlete Tysean Griffin

Morgan Park standout Tysean Griffin, who can play a variety of roles on offense and defense, has 19 schools interested him.

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Tysean Griffin’s a three-star prospect ranked 10th among Illinois juniors and 45th nationally among athletes in the 247Sports composite ratings.

Tysean Griffin’s a three-star prospect ranked 10th among Illinois juniors and 45th nationally among athletes in the 247Sports composite ratings.

Allen Cunningham/Sun-Times

Two years ago, Tysean Griffin was a freshman playing varsity football for Morgan Park during the pandemic-delayed spring season.

“When I was a freshman, the seniors always told us to take our time, it’d go by so quick,” Griffin said.

He didn’t believe it then but does now.

One of the state’s most versatile and dynamic players, Griffin is gearing up for his senior season and trying to sort out his college plans.

He hopes to commit before the season starts in August but is comfortable waiting longer if necessary to make sure he gets the decision right.

Griffin just returned from a visit to Tennessee, one of the three SEC schools that have offered him (Arkansas and Missouri are the others). Four Big Ten schools — Illinois, Michigan State, Purdue and Wisconsin — also have offered, along with several from the ACC and Big 12.

The 5-11, 165-pounder has 19 offers in all from schools that like him in a variety of roles on offense and defense. That’s reflected in the fact that the various recruiting websites classify him as an athlete, rather than a running back, receiver, defensive back or any specific position.

He’s a three-star prospect ranked 10th among Illinois juniors and 45th nationally among athletes in the 247Sports composite ratings. While Griffin’s role hasn’t changed since he burst on the high school football scene as a freshman, his game has.

“When I was a freshman, I was more of a speedster,” he said. “Now I’m a speedster, a shifty guy, a guy who can run you over.”

His evolution was aided by the return to the normal football calendar last year after the quick turnaround from spring to fall in 2021.

“Having that full offseason last year, it changed my game,” Griffin said. “I gained more pounds, more strength and more speed.”

Now he’s in the midst of another typical offseason, working out, making college visits (Illinois is next) and preparing for what he hopes will be a big season.

Griffin is part of a wave of young talent that has lifted the Mustangs to the upper level of the Public League along with fellow South Side powers Simeon and Kenwood.

“[In the past] everybody underestimated us and said we’re young,” Griffin said. “We’re not young anymore.”

New year, new spot for Clark

Another multiposition standout for Morgan Park is about to add another one.

Sophomore Jovan Clark, a 6-foot, 195-pounder who excelled at free safety and running back last season, will move to strong safety/nickel on defense this fall.

He said college coaches have seen him as a linebacker, defensive back and running back, a degree of versatility that can only increase his value.

Clark joined Griffin on the Tennessee visit and was at Minnesota a couple days later. His Power Five offers include Maryland, Syracuse and Wisconsin.

A teammate of Griffin’s since their Calumet City Thunderbolts youth football days, Clark is excited for one more season together.

“The majority of our team was sophomores [last] season with the addition of juniors and some seniors,” Clark said. “The sophomores have been starting since freshman [year]. Everybody’s been saying we’re young, but now we’re mature.

“It’s Tysean’s last year, our junior year, so we want to go out with a bang.”

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