USC punter Ben Griffiths spent a week off getting married – Orange County Register
LOS ANGELES – Most of the time Ben Griffiths can keep his age under the radar in the USC locker room. The punter turned 30 last month, but he believes he can act younger so most of his teammates forget about him.
Except over the weekend off, when Griffiths married his college friend, former USC lacrosse player Natalie Byrne.
The two rented a local Airbnb and invited friends and teammates to join them for the ceremony, which they kept low-key, avoiding any additional stress in the middle of the football season.
“The beauty of it all was that we hadn’t really planned a whole lot, so it wasn’t something that could really go wrong,” Griffiths said. “So the day went perfectly. Fortunately my wife didn’t want to plan anything, wanted to stay small.
Griffiths’ family is in Australia, and with the current travel restrictions that require anyone returning to that country to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel, they were unable to come to the United States for the wedding. Griffiths said they could hold a larger ceremony in his home country when the restrictions are lifted, and they are planning a honeymoon to the coast sometime after the season ends, depending on whether USC is playing or not in a bowl game.
In the meantime, there is still football to play and a potential professional career to contemplate.
Griffiths was once a professional athlete, playing Australian football for eight years before choosing to join USC ahead of the 2019 season to play college football and aim for a career in the NFL.
There was a period of transition, honing his technique from his previous sport and adjusting to a new ball. But over the past two seasons, he’s averaged over 46 yards per punt, including 71 yards this year.
And he’s earned respect in the USC locker room, having been voted team captain ahead of this season.
“I was really blown away,” Griffiths said. “I’ve been doing the same thing for three years. I stand at a high standard and guess they kind of saw it and (it got) reflected in the vote. ”
Griffiths is proud to be preparing for his degree in psychology after giving up on the idea of pursuing higher education earlier in life. He knows the hard work will pay off when his playing career is over.
“It might sound silly, but it’s the fulfillment of a huge life for me,” Griffiths said. “And every time I leave this place, it’s going to be something I’m really proud of no matter what happens next.”
But he still wants to be successful in his second professional league. He says he will assess his options after this season and see if it’s a good year for punters to go into the NFL, knowing he has two more years of eligibility to fall back on if he wants to return. at USC.
“If he’s not a spotty bettor, I don’t know who is,” said special teams coordinator Sean Snyder. “As for what he can do with football and the control he has, at the end of the day I find it hard to believe you’re going to find too much better.”
Everything did not go as planned. The coaches who recruited him from USC have been fired and there haven’t been as many wins. But his NFL dreams come alive and he has found his new bride across the Pacific.
“I have to say it went pretty well for me,” Griffiths smirked. “If I gave another answer, I might be without a woman tomorrow.” Yeah, that was good.