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Alumnus Spotlight: Chase Griffin '19

A Hippo Nation Diamond

Chase Griffin (Class of 2019) pulled into the parking lot of Hutto Memorial Stadium in December 2023, fresh off a UCLA bowl game win against Boise State. It was like he never left. He stepped out of his SUV wearing a Hutto Hippos t-shirt and pulled on his letterman jacket. While making a pass through the Athletics Field House, he sentimentally pointed out trophies from his time here. In the weight room, he snapped a couple photos of more accolades—including a banner on the wall in the weight room, bearing his name, for the Gatorade Player of the Year. He’s quick to tell you he’s a proud Hippo, and it shows. Lessons learned on the turf as quarterback and within the walls of Hutto High School continue to shape him in adulthood.

“Understand that there are going to be high schoolers from Hutto that go to some of the top schools in the nation every single year. There’s no reason why it can’t be you. Whether it be in athletics or in academics, whether it be in robotics. There are always ways to go out into the world and make it your oyster.”

“Learning how to win in a town where you’re one of the most forefront faces and names is something that—that pressure builds diamonds. I think learning how to deal with that at 16 years old, carries me now at 22 years old.”

When the communications team first spoke with Griffin, it was during the summer of 2023. He pointed out that where he lives now, is two miles away from where he was born at the UCLA Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif. Griffin is living a dream that he created and fought for with an armor of faith, draped in a cloak of support from family and friends. His story is just the content we were searching for to fuel young minds.

In his Hippo heyday, Griffin was named Gatorade Player of the Year, Built Ford Tough Player of the Year, 2018 Whataburger Super Team (a partnership with), and was regarded as one of the best players in the state. During his junior and senior year, Hutto never lost a home game.

“I definitely credit my teammates who were willing to work just as hard as I was every single summer, in the spring and in the offseason. That way we were sharper than everyone come the fall,” said Griffin.

All of the media attention Griffin received molded him into a skilled interviewer and overall brand manager setting him up for success at the next level. He would go on to earn a scholarship to play football for UCLA where he was named the first-ever National Image and Likeness (NIL) Male Athlete of the Year in 2022. If you spend any amount of time with him, you’ll learn Griffin is not just a good business person, he’s a good person. He donates 10 percent of his income from NIL deals to the LA Food Bank.

He’s now contributed around $25,000.

“Growing up, I used to serve a lot at the Round Rock Area Serving Center. At the food bank I was able to see how important that was to the communities surrounding, and I had classmates whose families relied on that to eat.

Chase Griffin'19

When I noticed that, along with my Christian faith which has really powered me through everything, I always knew that when I get to a point where I’m able to give financially and to use my platform to shed light on issues that need more recognition, that I would do that,” said Griffin.

Griffin has a multitude of life goals. He is currently in Law School finishing up his Master of Legal Studies, but has his sights on talent production including producing shows, movies and even acting. He is also exploring banking as a fellow with the University of California System. His mentor is the university’s Chief Investment Officer. Griffin is going places, but it’s important to note at one point he wasn’t.

“Even though I was one of the best passers in the state after my sophomore year, I didn’t have any offers. It wasn’t until really the summer before junior year that I started receiving offers and that was sort of tough for me just because I was going to camps all around the state, you know, driving three and four hours and absolutely being the best one at the camp and I just wouldn’t leave with an offer. I think it was my mental fortitude and my trust in God to make something happen that got me to UCLA. I would have never foreseen that thinking back to when I was 15 years old with zero offers after having a really good season.”

Griffin’s advice to today’s youth reads very much like a football game—keep pushing forward and find people who are willing to work with you. But above all else, he says, school comes first. Griffin made a point to be a standout on and off the field. His law degree will be his third degree in five years. He is the son of a teacher and was in the top one percent of his class all four years at Hutto. A little known fact—he started the Chess Club at HHS.