As Shaw’s Kyle Griswould sees it, he completed the best recruiting deal in the nation when he signed with Duke on Wednesday morning.
He joined Northside’s John Drew, who signed with the Blue Devils earlier in the day, giving Duke a pair of longtime friends who have never lost a game as teammates.
“We’ve always won,” Griswould said. “It started when we were 10 years old on football all-star team together. We played together on AAU when we were 10, 15, 16, 17, and we never lost. … I want to bring that to Duke and take home the ACC.”
The multipurpose Griswould announced his intentions to sign with Duke months ago — as a 50th birthday present for his father — but made it official on Wednesday. He also considered Ball State and Troy.
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“It feels good to finally do it,” Griswould said after the signing. “It’s a relief for sure. I picked the school a long time ago and now I just have to worry about getting physically ready.”
Griswould (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) is a two-time member of the Ledger-Enquirer All-Bi-City team. Last season he rushed for 1,181 yards and nine touchdowns. He added 323 receiving yards and two touchdown catches.
He began impressing coaches as a freshman and started 15 games as a sophomore as Shaw finished state runner-up that season.
“The first time I saw him, I said, “That’s him? That’s the kid? He’s kind of small,’ “ Shaw offensive coordinator Jamie Fox said. “We heard about him in middle school and I think I expected someone bigger. It only took a couple of practices for me to see that he was going to be a big player for us.”
Griswould said he was ready to begin studying to become an architectural engineer. All that was left was to worry about getting into better physical condition.
“My goal is to be prepared if I’m asked to play as a true freshman,” Griswould said.
Drew said both players were ready to help Duke compete for a conference championship during their time there.
“Once he sets his mind to something, he gets it done,” Drew said of Griswould’s work ethic. “Kyle is going to bring a lot of athleticism to the offense, and I’m trying to bring a lot of athleticism and speed to the defense.”
The Raiders’ baseball program also got in on the action Wednesday when pitcher Gage McRae signed with Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga.
McRae, who went to Northside as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Shaw, said he was excited to sign with a college after years of chasing the goal.
“I told my mom when I was about 10 years old that I wanted to play college baseball,” he said. “I wanted to be the first one in my family to do it.”
McRae will be the only senior on Shaw’s squad this year, according to coach Mike Getkin, but brings one of the most accurate arms in the area.
“Gage is not a guy whose going to overpower you,” Getkin said. “He’s the kind of guy who will make you work and put the ball in where he wants it. He’s not blessed with the ability to throw in the upper 80s, but he’ll put it where he wants it.”