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Texans tap Londonderry's Griffin in NFL Draft
Connecticut Huskies tight end Ryan Griffin (94) scores a touchdown against Buffalo during the first half of a Sept. 29 game. (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)
Houston chose Griffin, who played tight end at the University of Connecticut, in the sixth round Saturday. He was the 201st overall selection.
"I'm just so excited right now," Griffin said shortly after he was drafted. "I heard a lot of different things about the draft and you never know what to believe. I'm happy to be taken where I was, because my trip to Houston went really well. It felt like the right place for me. It almost felt like a second home."
Although he grew up in Londonderry, Griffin played three years of football at the New Hampton School before he transferred to Londonderry High School for his senior season. Tom Sawyer, Londonderry's head coach at the time, used Griffin as the fullback in a single-wing offense.
"We put him in a position where he could do a lot of things," Sawyer said. "He could run, pass and catch the ball. I knew he was going to get a shot in college because of his size - and he could run."
Griffin, who measured in at 6-foot-6 and 242 pounds at his pro day, received two scholarship offers while in high school. One was from Connecticut, and the other was from the University of New Hampshire.
He was a four-year starter at Connecticut, and caught at least 23 passes each season. He had 29 receptions for 484 yards and six touchdowns as a senior, but was not invited to the NFL Combine.
"You don't earn anything there," Griffin said. "You get a spot and you show what you can do. In a way that motivated me."
Griffin said the Patriots worked him out during his pro day, but he wasn't invited to Foxborough, Mass., for a pre-draft workout.
"The Texans like to use their tight ends in different spots in different formations," Griffin said. "I'll do whatever they ask me to do. I'm ready to contribute."
Griffin became the second New Hampshire resident selected in the NFL Draft in the last two years. San Diego chose Nashua's Kendall Reyes out of the University of Connecticut in the second round of last year's draft.
Reyes tweeted the following: "Words can't even describe how proud of my former teammate Ryan Griffin on getting drafted being from NH."
Griffin said Houston general manager Rick Smith was the one who called to notify him he had been drafted. He then handed the phone to Houston head coach Gary Kubiak.
"I told (Kubiak) I'd work hard for the team," Griffen said. "I'm glad the Texans realized what kind of guy I am and what kind of player I am. I know I'm not going to just show up and get a spot. I have to earn everything I get and I'm ready to do that."