Houston Griffith reflects on his decision to play for the Irish
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – On January 4th of this year, Irish safety Houston Griffith entered the transfer portal. Less than 3 weeks later, he withdrew his name and came back to Notre Dame.
While then-defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman played a big part in keeping Houston in South Bend, ultimately, it was his dad, Howard Griffith's, advice that tipped the scales.
"We can sit down as a family and really talk and be able to really just talk about what I wanted in a University and what also like could help me later in life," said Houston.
Howard speaks from experience: he was a record-setting running back at the University of Illinois and a two-time Super Bowl champ with the Denver Broncos.
Houston has relied on his dad's advice throughout his career.
He received his first scholarship offer from the University of Illinois when he was in 8th grade and went on to receive offers from major programs, like Michigan and Ohio State.
At one point, Houston committed to Florida State. But he has always come back to Howard's words of wisdom.
"Growing up, being around my dad playing in the NFL, just playing at a high level at the college level, it was something I always appreciated, because he was able to just give me tips on what coaches were looking for when I was going through the recruiting process,” said Houston. “Those are small things he always told me and just the aspect he told me to just stay humble and stay hungry."
Despite Howard being a star for the Illini, and now a star for the Big Ten Network, when it came time for Houston to make his college decision, the B1G just couldn't compete.
"It's one of those special places, for me. I know he has aspirations of playing on Sundays and all of that,” said Howard. “But for me, as a parent, you always want something different and something more. So, I thought Notre Dame was one of those places that is without a doubt a special place. You go to Notre Dame, you get a degree from Notre Dame, the connections that it has. The opportunity to meet some of the people that you're gonna go to school with are going to be titans of industry in the next 20 years."
While he's always looked up to his dad, that doesn't stop him from a little family competition.
"I mean I always talk stuff to him and let him know I'm a better athlete, said Houston. “It is what it is. He tries to say he was the better athlete but I'm trying to get the bragging rights at the end of the day."