New Englander Who Plays for Texans Back Home for Playoffs | NECN

New Englander Who Plays for Texans Back Home for Playoffs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Jan. 13, 2017)

    A New Hampshire native is back home in New England preparing for the biggest football game of his career.

    Ryan Griffin grew up in the Granite State, but has been living in Texas for the last four years, playing a critical role as tight end for the Houston Texans.

    When Ryan Griffin graduated from Londonderry High School in 2008 he was a passionate Patriots fan, but on Saturday, he'll take the field at Gillette stadium on the opposite side of Patriots Nation.

    According to Bill Belichick's press conference on Thursday, Ryan Griffin is on his radar ... and for Griffin's dad, it's a bit unsettling.

    "I had a hard time sleeping because I know Bill Belichick is game planning for my son," said Joe Griffin. "That's a scary thought."

    But, he also admits, it's pretty darn cool.

    "For him to utter my son's name is huge compliment," he said.

    Griffin started playing football when he was four years old.

    "He had pics of Drew Bledsoe all over his room," his dad told NBC Boston.

    Griffin graduated from Londonderry High School and earned a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut.

    During the 2013 NFL draft, Griffin and his family waited anxiously, and finally, in the sixth round, his phone rang.

    "Just his face, the sheer joy of that phone call," his dad recalled.

    On the other end was the Texans' general manager.

    "You're watching ESPN and your son's name comes up on bottom of screen, it was thrilling, a day we will never forget," Joe Griffin said.

    At that moment, the family of die-hard Patriots fans turned in their jerseys.

    "You have to switch teams, there is no choice," Joe said. "It was a lot easier for us to become Texans fans than, let's say, Jets fans, let's put it that way."

    With two touchdowns and more than 400 yards, the six-foot-six, 265-pound tight end is having his best season yet. But to his mom, the numbers only mean so much.

    "I am proud of his career and I support him," said Pat Griffin. "But I am more proud that he is a good man, I am really proud of that."

    The last four years have been full of incredible moments and #84 is preparing for another one on Saturday night.

    "His words were that he wants to shock the world," his dad said.

    The Griffins and 27 of their closest friends will be in the stands at Gillette for the big game.

    At the end of this season, Ryan Griffin is an unrestricted free agent. The Griffins admit there's a part of them that wishes their son might someday play for the New England Patriots.

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