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Getting to Know Alabama Kicker Adam Griffith

It's up, it's GOOD!
It's up, it's GOOD!
RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Up until Adam Griffith's 4-for-4 field goal performance against West Virginia on Saturday in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, most Bama fans only knew the young kicker for a certain missed 57-yard attempt against Auburn in 2013. But there is good reason to think that he will become known for much better accomplishments in the near future.

It has been a long road for this young man to Tuscaloosa that began in Eastern Europe. Griffith was born in the small Polish town of Stargard Szczeciński and grew up in an orphanage. He was adopted at age 13 and brought over to the United States to live in the city of Calhoun in northwest Georgia. He had no knowledge of the rich traditions of college football in the south. He did not even speak English when he first arrived.

As a young boy, he had little exposure to American football but there was the other football – soccer. Upon arriving in Calhoun, he began playing in the eighth grade. When his school's soccer coach noticed his strong leg, he passed along word to the football coaches who pulled him out of PE class and gave him a tryout on the spot.

"I kicked a 40-yarder in my tennis shoes," Griffith told a WRCB-TV reporter. "And after that I just knew kicking was my thing."

It was only a few weeks later that he was on the football field kicking in games. In the coming years, he was catching the eyes of college football coaches, in particular, a guy name Nick Saban. Griffith attended an Alabama kicking camp as a sophomore and wowed the staff. His Crimson Tide recruitment began.

Saban thought so highly of Griffith that he offered him one of only 25 precious scholarships – a rare thing for kickers. He was rated 3-stars (typically the highest rating for kickers) and the nation's #1 kicker by Scout, 247sports, and Chris Sailer Kicking.

The Calhoun High School junior made his verbal commitment to the Crimson Tide on their 2011 Junior Day. He went on to be named a two-time Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State selection.

No stranger to big stadiums or high-pressured situations, Griffith hit a game-winning 32-yard field goal in overtime against Dillon Lee's Buford Wolves for the Class AA state title – a game that took place in the Georgia Dome. He also had a 46-yarder earlier in the game.

"People (in the crowd) aren't going to bother me. Eighty-thousand or one hundred-thousand, or whatever it is, that's not going to bother me," Griffith said on National Signing Day 2012."I just want to go and be comfortable and do what I do, and that's kick the ball between the uprights."

Against West Virginia, the sophomore connected on field goals of 47, 41, 27 and 45 yards with three extra points to score 15 points for the Tide. He became the first Alabama kicker to connect on three field goals of 40 or more yards since Michael Proctor did it in against Ole Miss in 1993.

This week, he was named one of the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award's "Stars of the Week" (VOTE FOR ADAM HERE) and the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

So, what about that particular kick from last year that will go nameless?

"I forgot about that kick," Griffith said. "I don't even remember that kick anymore. That was before. I don't even think about it."

And so will you.