A yearly tradition here at TTB is to look at 2018 prospects with famous fathers. If you’re interested in past editions, you can click on this (LINK). If you’re only interested in the here and now, below you will find 14 prospects in the 2018 class with famous dads.
Mayan Ahanotu – DE – Tampa (FL) Berkely Prep: Ahonatu is a 6’3″, 246 lb. prospect who signed with Minnesota in December; he also had offers from Arizona, Cal, Maryland, Oklahoma, UCF, and USF, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #51 strongside end, and #1017 overall. Mayan is the son of Chidi Ahonatu, who played at Cal and was a 6th round pick (#145 overall) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in in 1993. He posted 436 tackles and 46.5 sacks from 1993-2004 with the Bucs, Rams, Bills, 49ers, and Dolphins.
Drake Anderson – RB – Chandler (AZ) Chandler: Anderson is a 5’11”, 180 lb. prospect who’s following in his dad’s footsteps to Northwestern; he also had offers from Illinois, Nevada, and New Mexico State. He’s a 3-star, the #91 running back, and #1446 overall. He was wildly productive as a senior, running 218 times for 2,009 yards and 32 touchdowns, along with 23 catches for 310 yards and 5 more scores. His father, Damien Anderson, was First Team All-Big Ten and a consensus All-American in 2000, when he had an uncharacteristically outstanding year. Prior to that season, he averaged 3.3 and 3.7 yards per carry, and in 2001 he averaged 4.4; but in 2000, he averaged 6.6 yards per rush (311 carries for 2,063 yards and 23 touchdowns). He went undrafted in 2002 and ran 45 times for 142 yards (3.2 yards/carry) over four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
Hit the jump for several more well known father-son (and one grandfather-son) combos.
Olaijah Griffin – CB – Mission Viejo (CA) Mission Viejo: Griffin is a 6’0″, 170 lb. prospect who signed with USC in early February; he also had offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, and UCLA, among others. He’s a 5-star, the #3 cornerback, and #28 overall, and he played in the Under Armour All-American Game. His father is a famous rapper named Warren G.
Houston Griffith – CB – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Griffith is a 6’1″, 192 lb. prospect who enrolled early at Notre Dame; he also had offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, and USC, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #11 cornerback, and #70 overall. Houston is the son of Howard Griffith, who now works as an analyst for the Big Ten Network. Howard was a tailback at Illinois in the late 1980s and early 1990s, becoming a 9th round pick (#236 overall) of the Indianapolis Colts in 1991. In college he ran for 2,477 yards and 31 touchdowns. In an NFL career with the Colts, Rams, Broncos, and Panthers, he transitioned to fullback, where he ran for 351 yards and had 844 receiving yards, along with 12 total touchdowns, over eleven seasons. He won two Super Bowls with the Broncos.
Byron “B.J.” Hanspard II – WR – DeSoto (TX) DeSoto: B.J. is a 6’0″, 170 lb. prospect who signed with Baylor in December; he was committed to Arkansas at one point and also held offers from Houston, Indiana, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #11 athlete, and #237 overall. B.J. had 36 catches for 493 yards and 2 touchdowns as a senior in 2017 for DeSoto, which happens to be the home of Michigan commits Gemon and German Green. B.J. is the son of Byron Hanspard, who won the Doak Walker Award for Texas Tech in 1996, along with being First Team All-Big 12 and a unanimous All-American. That year he had 2,000 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He left early and was a 2nd round pick (#41 overall) by the Atlanta Falcons in 1997 and had a decent rookie year (987 kick return yards and 2 TDs, plus 335 rushing yards), but he hurt his knee in 1998, struggled mightily in 1999, and never played again. He finished his NFL career with 718 rushing yards, 146 receiving yards, and 3 total touchdowns.
John Stephen Jones – QB – Dallas (TX) Highland Park: John Stephen Jones is a 5’10”, 175 lb. signal caller who signed with Arkansas on National Signing Day; he also had offers from Kansas, SMU, and Texas Tech. He’s a 3-star, the #54 pro-style quarterback, and #1678 overall. He is the grandson of Jerry Jones, who is best known as the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. The eldest Jones was an all-conference lineman in the Southwest Conference for Arkansas. He has owned the Cowboys since 1989, winning three Super Bowls in the process.
Mark McMillian, Jr. – WR – Gilbert (AZ) Williams Field: McMillian, Jr. is a 6’2″, 175 lb. prospect who is a 247 Sports 2-star, the #504 wide receiver, and #3503 overall. He claims a 4.6 forty and a 30″ vertical. 247 lists him as having one offer from Kentucky Christian. McMillian played college football at Alabama, where a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown still stands as the longest INT return in school history. He was picked in the 10th round (#272 overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and embarked on an eight-year career with the Eagles, Saints, Chiefs, 49ers, and Redskins. Overall, he made 402 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 23 interceptions for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns. In fact, his 1997 season was one of the best all-time in the NFL when he had 8 interceptions (tied for #156 all-time), 274 yards (#13), and 3 touchdowns (#4). He did all that while only being 5’7″ and 154 lbs.
Asante Samuel, Jr. – CB – Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas: Samuel is a 5’9″, 166 lb. prospect who signed with Florida State on National Signing Day; he had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #9 cornerback, and #60 overall, and he played in the Under Armour All-American Game. His father is Asante Samuel, a former Central Florida cornerback (127 tackles, 8 interceptions, 38 pass breakups in college) who was a 4th round pick (#120 overall) of the New England Patriots in 2003. Samuel was selected to four Pro Bowls in an 11-year career with the Patriots, Eagles, and Falcons. He retired after the 2013 season with 433 tackles and 51 interceptions, including 6 touchdowns.
Benjamin Sapp III – CB – Eden Prairie (MN) Eden Prairie: Sapp is a 6’0″, 183 lb. corner who signed with Minnesota during the early signing period; he also had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #71 cornerback, and #809 overall. Sapp started his high school career in Fort Lauderdale, but he moved to Eden Prairie prior to his senior year. His father, better known as Benny Sapp, went to Northern Iowa before transferring to Iowa. He made 104 tackles and 3 interceptions in 2002 and 2003 with the Hawkeyes. When the 2004 draft came around, he went unselected but latched on with the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, and Miami Dolphins over eight years. Throughout his career, he made 205 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 6 interceptions, and 35 pass breakups.
Blake Stenstrom – QB – Littleton (CO) Valor Christian: Stenstrom is a 6’2″, 194 lb. prospect who signed with Colorado, the only school to offer him, in December. He’s a 3-star, the #33 pro-style quarterback, and #795 overall. He was the backup to Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey in 2016 and played ahead of Luke McCaffrey this past season. Blake is the son of Steve Stenstrom, who had a very good career with Stanford in the early 1990s. Stenstrom completed 849/1352 passes (62.8%) for 10,701 yards, 72 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions. He became a 4th round pick (#134 overall) of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995 but struggled as a backup in his seven-year career. He totaled 1,895 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with the Chiefs, Bears, 49ers, Lions, and Broncos.
Patrick Surtain, Jr. – CB – Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage: Surtain is a 6’1″, 199 lb. prospect who signed with Alabama in early February; he also had offers from Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State, among others. He’s a 5-star, the #1 cornerback, and #6 overall. His father is Patrick Surtain, a high school quarterback who moved to defensive back at Southern Mississippi, making 13 interceptions from 1994-1997. He was a 2nd round NFL Draft pick (#44 overall) by the Miami Dolphins in 1998. In eleven years as an NFLer, he made 415 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 37 interceptions (with 2 TDs), and 53 pass breakups. He was picked for the Pro Bowl three times with the Dolphins.
Taylor Upshaw – DE – Bradenton (FL) Braden River: Upshaw is a 6’5″, 240 lb. prospect who signed with Michigan in December; he also had offers from Clemson, Florida, Oklahoma, and Oregon, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #25 strongside end, and #562 overall. Upshaw is the son of Regan Upshaw, who played college ball at Cal. He was a 1st round pick (#12 overall) in the 1996 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Regan made 34.5 sacks and 1 interception over nine seasons with the Bucs, Jaguars, Raiders, Redskins, and Giants.
Tyler Vrabel – OT – Houston (TX) St. Pius X: Vrabel is a 6’4″, 255 lb. prospect who signed with Boston College in December; he also had offers from Cincinnati, Houston, and Memphis, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #126 offensive tackle, and #1386 overall. Michigan fans all know his dad, Mike Vrabel, who played at Ohio State and was named Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1995 and 1996. He was a 3rd round pick (#91 overall) of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997 and played through 2010 with the Steelers, Patriots, and Chiefs. In his NFL career, he went to the Pro Bowl once, won three Super Bowls, and recorded 740 tackles, 57 sacks, and 11 interceptions. He also caught a ridiculous 10 touchdowns on 10 career receptions, often lining up as an extra tight end. After being an assistant coach with Ohio State and the Houston Texans, he was recently named head coach of the Tennessee Titans.
Tyrique Wheatley – RB – St. Johns (FL) Creekside: Wheatley is a 5’11”, 185 lb. prospect who claims a 4.47 forty and a 10.9 time in the 100 meters. I can’t find any information on him receiving looks at the next level, though I imagine at least some low-level programs are interested. He has some of his father’s speed – his father is, of course, former Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, who also coached at Michigan from 2015-2016. He’s Michigan’s #5 all-time rushing leader and was a 1st round pick (#17 overall) of the New York Giants in 1995. He was the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year in 1992 and a Big Ten sprint champion in track. In a ten-year career with the Giants and Raiders, he had 4,962 rushing yards and 47 total touchdowns. He has since spent time coaching at Dearborn (MI) Robichaud, Syracuse, the Buffalo Bills, and Michigan before joining the Jacksonville Jaguars staff in 2017.
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