Griffitts inks commitment with Dakota Wesleyan University

Joshua Clark photo
Cade Griffitts celebrates with his mother Mindy and father Cory shortly after signing his letter of intent to attend Dakota Wesleyan University to play football.

Joshua Clark


Looking around the room as Glenrock High School Cade Griffitts prepared to sign his letter of intent to play football at the next level, one thing was clearly evident. The young man’s family and community are pillars supporting the multi-sport student athlete.
With a parent on each side, and a room filled with teammates, coaches and other family members, Griffitts signed on to play college football at Dakota Wesleyan University following his high school graduation this spring.
“Their football program is so community centered,” Griffitts said. “The atmosphere with the coaches and the players was really great. I felt in place there, like I should be there, and I’m really excited to have signed my letter of intent.”
The sense of community is something that goes far beyond football at DWU. The university is known for its faculty taking pay cuts and accepting produce as a form of tuition during the days of the Great Depression so students from families hit the hardest could still attend college.
Griffitts' father Cory, who remembers his five-year-old son playing the game, thinks the school’s values and Cade’s attitude towards the game and life are a perfect fit.
“He was never worried about being the star he was always just a team player,” Cory said. “He does his business and he keeps the kids together chasing the goal they were after. If you watched practice you would see him coaching the younger kids below him.”
Herder head coach Ryan Collier sees those same qualities in Griffitts.
“Cade’s always trying to get better and learning, and he passes that down to many kids on the team. As long as you’re trying to learn and figure things out, you’ll be ok.”
Athletically, Cade is looking to make an impact right away. Although he played defensive end and fullback in high school, he will suit up as a linebacker for the Tiger defense who has no problem giving playing time to under-classmen.
“Last year they had a bunch of freshman and sophomores star on defense. I’m really just going to do my best to stick out, and I hope I stick out enough to be in that starting lineup.”
Griffitts was an impact player his entire time at Glenrock, particularly his final season when he led the team in total tackles and sacks, but the college game is a different animal. Almost every player grew up as one of or the best players on their high school teams. Griffitts believes the difference in size will be the toughest adjustment.
“The hardest part will be getting used to the bigger kids,” Cade said. “In high school you’re playing kids who are 5”9 and 180 pounds. In college, I’ll be going against linemen that are 6”4, 315.”
Collier believes Cade can develop into an impact player for the team as long as he makes the game a priority.
“Cade definitely has a lot of athletic upside. He’s a good-sized kid that fits a small program like that. He’s got decent quickness and speed, but it’s all about work. If he puts in the work he will be ok but if not it’s going to be a struggle. Cade has a lot of potential though and he should be a heck of a player for them.”
Griffitts will be studying history and education and plans on being a social studies teacher as well as a football coach when he’s done with college.  


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