Arizona Wildcats redshirt freshman receiver Trey Griffey was a non-factor for about two months of the season before catching the coaches’ eyes because of his play on special teams.
Now, he’s another promising piece in what should be an overflowing receiving corps next season.
In the last four games of the season, Griffey caught 14 passes for 170 yards, coming up with a two-touchdown performance against Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl on Tuesday afternoon. He had three receptions for 41 yards.
ESPN interviewed his famous father during the game, which is great publicity for the Arizona program. That’s a powerful endorsement if Ken Griffey Jr. trusts Rich Rodriguez and his staff with his son. (Same goes for his Junior’s daughter, Taryn, who has signed to play women’s basketball at Arizona.
(Here is a story I wrote on Trey from fall camp when his dad was inducted into the Seattle Mariners’ Hall of Fame.
Roy Lang III, of our Gannett partner in Shreveport, was on the scene Tuesday to write about a great Griffey day. Here is that story:
By Roy Lang III
The Shreveport Times
Who had Shreveport, Louisiana, in the “site of Trey Griffey’s coming out party” pool?
His daddy sure didn’t. Grandpa probably didn’t either.
Tuesday, star power inside Independence Stadium sure helped make up for a lack of butts in the seats on a beautiful day at the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
Local rising star Cole Vosbury of “The Voice” fame executed a terrific rendition of the anthem and Si Robertson of Duck Dynasty was in the house, but there was no doubt as to the celebrity winners on this day.
When Trey (aka Ken Griffey III), Arizona’s redshirt freshman, made a leaping grab over two Boston College defenders in the north end zone for the first touchdown of his career, father and former Major League Baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr., scrambled to look in a viewfinder 105 yards away.
When Trey hauled in another score, Junior simply flashed the peace sign, or “that’s two” to the crowd gathered behind him.
“I got a couple of good shots,” Junior, armed with a telephoto lens in the south end zone, told The Times, “and a couple of guys are going to help me out. They said they’d send me their photos, and they should be good because they were on the other side of the field.”
The future Hall of Famer is no rookie at photography. He shot images of a younger son’s Pop Warner team and was asked by ESPN to participate in a program where athletes take photos of athletes.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Junior said. “I tell people, ‘NFL Films had to start somewhere.’ I do a lot of shooting at the house. This is my first college game.”
In the front row of Independence Stadium, Ken Griffey Sr. was snapping photos on his iPhone.
On this day, a father and son that combined for nearly 5,000 hits, 782 home runs and 2,700 RBIs were in awe.
Trey, who entered the game with 11 catches (all in the Wildcats’ final three regular-season games), hauled in three passes for 41 yards and the two touchdowns in the Wildcats’ rout over the Eagles.
“Everything goes out to (Arizona quarterback) B.J. (Denker),” Trey said. “He stuck with me while I struggled.”
The legend of KGIII has been born. Right here in Shreveport.
Not only did Trey’s family get to witness his breakout game, childhood friend Matt Milano had one of the best seats in the house. Milano is a freshman for Boston College and played high school ball with Trey at Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Fla.
“We grew up together, played Pop Warner together,” said Trey, who posed for a picture (his father took) with No. 28 from Boston College. “He’s great, his family is great.
“We’ll talk about it when we get back home.”
Trey took up football when he heard his friend talking about flag football in pre-K.
“I didn’t like it the first couple of years,” he said.
But then Trey started to grow. Now 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Griffey has the size – and genes – to succeed in this sport.
Not that he has to in his father’s eyes.
“I’m always proud,” Junior said. “I have some pretty good kids who just want to be kids. Sometimes they are embarrassed of who I am, so they act like they don’t know me half the time. It’s all right, I did that to my dad.”
Said Trey: “It was great to have my family here. They show up to every game in Tucson and they are always sending me a text before the game. They are always supportive.”
Was Shreveport on the Griffey Family list as possible sites for making family memories?
“No, but I’m glad we’re here,” Junior said. “It’s a great day. We got in late last night and then got up this morning and went to breakfast. The people here have been unbelievable.
“I had several people come up and say, ‘Aren’t you …’ so it was a lot of fun.”