Feb. 4, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - With the NFL Draft two months away, former Tulane University football standout Ryan Griffin increased his chances of hearing his named called during the three-day event after claiming MVP honors of the Sixth Annual Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game over the weekend in Allen, Texas.
Ryan earned the honor after completing 14-of-18 passes for 214 yards and a pair of touchdowns while leading the National All-Stars to a 24-13 win over Team Texas. The native of Westlake Village, Calif., was a four-year starter under center during his career with the Green Wave from 2009-12 when he totaled 9,026 yards and 56 scores while completing 836-of-1396 passes.
"I thought the week went well," Griffin said of his performance during the game as well as the week of practice leading up to it. "I just tried to show that I could play at the next level - try to compete and show my skills - and try as hard as I could. It was a good time. We only practiced 10-15 plays, so when I got in there it was nice to execute those plays. I thought we did a pretty good job of coming together in a week and making it look crisp, clean and sharp."
Griffin opened the game at quarterback for the National All-Stars and capped a six-play, 72-yard drive with a 15-yard touchdown to Brian Leonhardt of Bemidji State to stake his team to a 7-0 lead. He also put the team in position to kick a field goal and Team Nation added a defensive touchdown to go up 17-0.
After watching Team Texas rally with 13 straight points to make it a four-point contest in the fourth quarter, Griffin helped put the game out of reach with a 20-yard touchdown toss to Syracuse's Marcus Sales with 9:54 remaining to account for the final score.
"It does not surprise me to see Ryan do what he did not only during the game but throughout the week of practice," second year Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson said. "He is an extremely smart player who has the physical tools to play at the next level. I believe that Ryan is an NFL talent and I'm happy he had a chance to turn some heads last week in Allen."
The NFL Draft is slated to start on April 25 when the 32 teams make their first-round selections. The second and third rounds will take play on April 26 while rounds 4-7 will take place on April 27. Live coverage of the NFL Draft will be provided by both ESPN and the NFL Network.
Eight former Tulane quarterbacks have been drafted by NFL teams since 1959, including first-round selections Patrick Ramsey to the Washington Redskins in 2002 and J.P. Losman to the Buffalo Bills in 2004. Other Green Wave signal callers drafted are Richie Petitbon (1959, second round to the Chicago Bears), Rusty Lachaussee (1972, 15th round to the New Orleans Saints), Steve Foley (1975, 8th round to the Denver Broncos), Nickie Hall (1981, 10th round to the Green Bay Packers), Terrence Jones (1989, 7th round to the San Diego Chargers) and Shaun King (1999, 2nd round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).