Jamarion Griffin has been playing football since he was four years old and has plenty of hardware attesting to his success. (Courtesy photos)

by Najee El-Amin —

Unbeknownst to many, Memphis is home to one of the best youth football players in the United States.

At only 11 years old, Jamarion Griffin has the accolades of a player twice his age.

Already, he’s been the recipient of numerous awards, including the most valuable offensive player award with the Cordova Wolves, North Memphis Cowboys and the Orange Mound Raiders.

Griffin began playing football at 4 years old and there has been no stopping him since. His mother, Maurisha Williams, said she always knew there was something special about her son.

“At three years old he broke his toe and, even with the cast on, he was running around,” Williams said. “When we took the cast off … he just took off running. He (Griffin’s uncle) recorded it and brought it back to me and was like ‘He’s fast!’”

One of Griffin’s renowned accomplishments came when he was invited to former NFL cornerback Courtney Jackson’s Catch Cover Elite (CCE) All-Star Tournament. The contest was held in Dallas and showcased some of the nation’s most talented youth football players.

Griffin evidently didn’t let the tough competition intimidate him; he was able to bring two rings back to Memphis.

His recognition only grew when he was named as one of the top 100 youth prospects in the country. At number 78, Griffin got his own page within the CCE 100 Top Prospects magazine, which prominently displayed his achievements.

Jamarion Griffin (left) and a teammate show off hardware that comes with success. (Courtesy photo)

Jamarion’s accolades go on and on, but his mother makes it clear that before he laces up his cleats, he first has to handle business in the classroom.

“School is first! You can’t get anywhere in life without an education,” said Williams. “We make sure that academics are always a must in our home. We gotta keep those grades up because you always got to have a backup plan.”

Fortunately, she doesn’t have to worry as Griffin is currently an honors student at Cherokee Elementary School. Although in the unlikely event that he does begin to slip, he has a long list of supporters who will help him back up.

As the ninth out of 10 children, Griffin’s siblings have always been by his side. Williams said when they travel, they go as a family and are all supportive. His brothers also played football and take time out of their day to workout with Griffin.

His coaches and teammates also hold Griffin in high regard. They describe him as very coachable and down to earth. Even when he moves on to other teams, many of his former instructors still keep an eye on his performances and continue to encourage him.

With aspirations of going pro, Williams knows there’s a bright future awaiting her son. Knowing that while there will be some ups and downs ahead, she leaves her son with this bit of advice.

“Stay humble. Always remember that there’s somebody out there that’s trying to be better than you. Don’t get caught slipping, in so many words.”

In the coming months, Griffin will be launching his own sportswear brand called Jsportz, which will focus on football and basketball gear.

He also will join the 901Buckeyes, a Memphis-based travel team. This will give him the opportunity to face higher skilled opponents and put his abilities to the test.

When asked what he is most looking forward to this season, he proudly replied, “To put Memphis on the map.”