News: Washington State native, football standout selected for Marine Corps’ 2014 Semper Fi Bowl
Story by Sgt. Reece Lodder
BELLEVUE, Wash. — Three years ago, while watching the U.S. Marine Corps’ inaugural Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, then-high school freshman Marcus Griffin pledged to push himself until he was selected to play in the bowl.
Now a senior and top-ranked defensive lineman with the Bellevue High School Wolverines football team, Griffin achieved his dream, Dec. 13, 2013. Surrounded by his peers and family during a school assembly, the 17-year-old native of Bellevue, Wash., was presented his 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl jersey by Marines from Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Bellevue.
The affable 6’3”, 300-pound Griffin, who attends Academic International in Bellevue, is among 90 student athletes from across the nation selected to participate in the game at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., Jan. 5, 2014. He is the sole Washington student selected for this year’s bowl.
“The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will bring together some of the most talented high school football players our nation has to offer,” said Col. Robert G. Golden III, the chief of staff for Marine Corps Recruiting Command. “These players possess the character, academic excellence and leadership ability to represent our world’s finest — the United States Marines.”
Griffin was recently named lineman of the year for Washington State’s King County, a USA Today All-USA high school football team finalist and was a member of the Wolverines’ 2012 3A state championship team, which had been ranked first in the nation by ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Off the field, he is active in the community as a mentor to a younger neighbor, assists the elderly with everyday chores and volunteers during holiday food drives.
While Griffin said many popular high school football bowl games are “based on which athletes have the most stars,” he said he is honored by the chance to play alongside athletes being recognized for their character and commitment both on and off the field.
“The practices and game are going to be a learning experience,” Griffin said. “I’m looking forward to finding out how the Marines lead and why they’ve been so successful, and then taking this back to our younger players to help them grow.”
After watching the inaugural Semper Fi Bowl with his son three years ago and seeing him “work tirelessly” to earn his selection, Marcus’ father Christopher Griffin said he is excited to see how it will help his son grow as a leader.
“As he pursues college, the week he will spend working with the Marines will be an important reminder to live up to the character upon which he was selected for this game,” Christopher Griffin said.
The Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl will air live on Fox Sports 1 at 9 p.m. EST and 6 p.m. PST.
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