At Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy camp at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium on Saturday, a young camper posed a question to Wilson.
“Shouldn’t you be on your honeymoon with Ciara?” he asked.
Wilson laughed, and responded: “We can take it after we win another Super Bowl.”
Whether or not Wilson was serious, Peninsula High sophomore quarterback Burke Griffin, who was in attendance, liked the message.
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“He’s all football, all the time,” Griffin said. “I love that mindset. He never takes any days off. I love how much he cares about the game and how much work he puts into it.”
Griffin, who is in a competitive battle for the starting quarterback position for Peninsula in the fall, stands about 5-foot-9. Being a shorter QB, Griffin said he tries to model his game after Wilson’s.
“I just went as hard as I possibly could all camp long,” Griffin said. “Russell isn’t the tallest guy out there but he gives it his all.”
Maybe Griffin’s scrappiness and his work ethic — despite his size disadvantage — is what caught Wilson’s eye. While there were 300 or so campers, and more than 10 quarterbacks in the high school group of the camp, Griffin managed to stand out.
Griffin received the McFall Award at the end of the one-day, four-hour camp. The award is given to the individual who displayed the utmost respect, integrity and sportsmanship while relentlessly driving to become a better football player.
Wilson gave a short speech about the importance of the award before presenting it to Griffin in front on the camp.
“It was pretty cool to be called out by Russell Wilson,” Griffin said. “He’s one of my role models. It’s not an experience you get to have ever day.”
Griffin had a chance to chat with Wilson briefly at the conclusion of the camp.
“He just told me, ‘I was watching all day. You had some really nice balls. You’ve got what it takes,’” Griffin said. “He wished me good luck and went on his way. It was a cool experience to be able to have a short conversation with him.”
Griffin had the chance to work with another pretty good Seattle QB, also — Washington sophomore Jake Browning, who started all last season as a true freshman for the Huskies.
“(Browning) kind of coached me all day,” Griffin said. “I got to really learn from him. To be able to learn from the two top quarterbacks in Seattle — that doesn’t happen every day.”
And you won’t see Griffin complaining about hanging out with Huskies or playing at iconic Husky Stadium. He’s a Dawg fan; both of his parents went to the UW and competed in athletics.
“We’re a little biased,” Griffin said. “My dad ran in the 800-meter for track and my mom was an all-around gymnast.”
Maybe those genes will prove valuable for Griffin in the quarterback competition for Peninsula. Griffin, who views it as a friendly competition, said he’ll be happy and ready to contribute, however it shakes out.
“I’m good friends with all the guys,” he said. “It’s totally open. I just go in and try to work as hard as I possibly can every day. I know (passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jim) Fairfield is a super good coach. I’m just happy to help out the team in any way I can.”