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Friendly competition fuels dynamic duo

 

Story by Jordan Spurgeon

The Comets football team has not one, but two talented wide receivers leading the way this season.

Kyran Griffin and Johnny Armentrout are tied for the team lead in receptions with 31. Neither of them envisioned being at Palomar just a few years ago. 

Griffin grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and was stationed at Camp Pendleton for three years in the Marine Corps. At 26 years of age Griffin decided he wanted to play football like he did in high school because he loves the game. 

Armentrout went to El Camino High School in Oceanside, Calif. before bouncing around playing football at Riverside Community College and Saddleback Community College. He took two years off before deciding to play at Palomar.

Their numbers are similar, but their playstyles differ. Armentrout is a slot receiver and is listed at 5 feet 10 inches and 170 pounds. Griffin is an outside play maker who is listed at 6 feet 3 inches and 165 pounds. 

Griffin has 446 yards receiving and three touchdowns. Armentrout has 384 yards and five touchdowns. 

The two have a friendly rivalry together on the field. They push each other in practice and in games, Armentrout said. 

“It’s definitely competitive but it’s not to the point where it’s aggressive, Armentrout said, “If I’m not open I’m going to get you [Griffin] open.”

Both have high praise for each others’ skill sets. They understand how they play well together. “Johnny is a shifty guy. The way he gets open and makes his cuts is amazing,” Griffin said.

Griffin may be taller but Armentrout knows that Griffin can be just as shifty. Armentrout said, “He’s fast, he’s got good routes and he’s got exceptional hands. He knows how to get open.”

The competition between the two and their ability to get open have helped quarterback Rodney Thompson find more success in the passing game this season.

When they’re on offense together they have an unspoken bond that helps them make big plays. “They’re just very versatile guys and very reliable,” Thompson said.

Griffin and Thompson clicked over the offseason. They hang out in their free time with other guys on the team as well.

“He’s very mature and funny, he’s just fun to be around,” Thompson said, “He’s always smiling and laughing. He brightens up the room.”

As one of the older guys on the team, Griffin knows he’s expected to be a leader. He wasn’t sure what that would look like, but the high maturity level of others on the team has made it easier and more enjoyable.

“Every good leader is a great follower,” Griffin said.

When Armentrout isn’t at school or football, he likes to go to Stampede in Temecula to get his country on. His favorite movie is Animal House and his favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys.

Griffin enjoys spending time with his four-year-old son, Karo, and hanging with his teammates off the field. His favorite movie right now is Madagascar and roots for his hometown team the New Orleans Saints.

 

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