Former high school great Derrick Griffin playing for Texas Southern

After two years of misery waiting to get eligible to play college football, former Rosenberg Terry star Derrick Griffin is working out with Texas Southern and will play for the Tigers in 2015.

Griffin, rated the No. 3 wide receiver in the nation in 2013, signed with the Miami Hurricanes, but was an academic non-qualifier and never played there.

While sitting out the 2014 season because he was non-qualifier, Griffin enrolled as a student at Texas Southern and achieved his goal of becoming eligible so he can be a student-athlete for the Tigers.

"It's a great, great feeling," Griffin said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I've been waiting too long for this.

"It was just a process. It's something I had to go through. I should have took care of it in high school, but I went a different route. I'm here now.

"This is my team. Here we go."

Griffin and TSU followed NCAA rules, which mandate he earn a minimum of 24 college credits during the past year to become eligible.

TSU rules stipulated that Griffin also had to maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average to be eligible in 2015.

"It's unbelievable to have a five-star athlete such as Derrick Griffin out here playing for Texas Southern University," said Dr. Charles McClelland, TSU vice president for intercollegiate athletics. "Derrick is the answer to the question a parent would ask,'why TSU?'

"He had the opportunity, based upon his athletic ability, to go anywhere in the nation, but because he didn't qualify nobody reached out to him. Texas Southern cares about the person, not Derrick the football player. We got him in a summer-bridge program, got him eligible and that's the reason why Derrick Griffin is here, because we care about graduating student-athletes. It's not just about football."

Along with being rated the third-best receiver in the nation, Griffin was also ranked as the fifth-best overall player in Texas in 2013.

Griffin, 6-7 and 230 pounds, is very thankful for TSU's efforts to help him become successful in the classroom, which means he also gets the opportunity to play college sports.

"That means a lot," Griffin said. "That's why I stayed here. They took a chance to help me. They did a lot just to help me.

"They showed me that they cared about me. So it's my chance to show them that I care about them."

Griffin will also play basketball for Texas Southern.

Tigers head football coach Darrell Asberry gets him first.

"It's a great addition to our program," Asberry said. "He was a tremendous athlete coming out of high school. We just want to try to get all the kinks out of him and get him going fast as possible now.

"It means a lot just to seem him smile and get him out here saying 'it's finally done and I'm on the football field.' "

Griffin, who is a redshirt freshman, could not agree more.

"It's the best feeling ever," Griffin said.

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