WINTER GARDENS, Fla. — The case for BYU simply became too strong for West Orange High School quarterback Hayden Griffitts.
A stated "BYU family," good relationships with the Cougar coaching staff and growing comfort with the BYU community contributed heavily in Griffitts committing to the football program.
"I just feel really comfortable at BYU and it got to the point where I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else," Griffitts said.
Griffitts is a 6-foot-3, 222-pound quarterback prospect who has been a standout at BYU camps over the last two summers. He went on to throw for 2,498 yards and 34 touchdowns against just two interceptions his senior season for West Orange, which brought a lot of recruiting attention.
"I had a lot of schools real interested until I told them my plans to serve an LDS mission," Griffitts said. "My plan was to serve a mission right out of high school, so when I told schools, they backed off."
One school that maintained interest was BYU, which kept in constant contact throughout the process. Griffitts quickly built a strong relationship with both offensive coordinator Robert Anae and quarterbacks coach Jason Beck.
Although interest was great from both Anae and Beck, scholarship spots were limited.
"They told me that they'd definitely offer me most years but simply didn't have enough scholarship spots open," Griffitts explained. "That was disappointing since BYU has always been the school I wanted to play for."
Griffitts grew up a huge BYU fan being the son of former BYU player Bobby Griffitts, who played for the program in the early 1990s. Hayden said he was "trained to be a BYU fan" along with his twin brother Kyle.
Hayden flew out to catch the tail end of BYU football practices while Kyle stayed at home attending to his duties as West Orange's student body president.
A lot of the time spent in Provo has been with BYU basketball signee Dalton Nixon.
"I've become real close with Dalton and the Nixon family," Griffitts said. "Me and Dalton started talking about going to BYU together and possibly being roommates, and that helped me make my final decision for sure."
Griffitts already has his mission call and will leave to serve a mission to Japan later this year. Upon his return he'll join BYU's program as a preferred walk-on.
"Walk-ons have a great opportunity at BYU to earn scholarships," Griffitts said. "A lot of the program's best players started off as walk-ons, and I hope to prove my worth and hopefully earn a scholarship."
As for his twin brother, Kyle, he has yet to decide, but Griffitts is hopeful BYU will find room for him.
"Kyle is a very versatile athlete who could play linebacker or tight end and maybe even defensive end," Griffitts said. "Hopefully we can go to BYU together and play for the team. It's always been a dream of ours growing up."