BLOOMINGTON – For the first time since a swimming accident left him fighting for his life, Isaac Griffith was back with his Indiana football family Saturday. The redshirt freshman receiver and Fort Wayne native didn’t participate in practice, but players and coaches were just excited to have him on the field.
I just think (it’s) good for teammates, good for us, but really plain just good for him, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said. I know all he’s talked about is wanting to get back to normal.
The Indiana coaching staff did not have confirmation until Friday that Griffith would be attending the Saturday practice.
The former Homestead standout missed a week of school after the accident, but Wilson said that he was able to stay up on his work and is looking good. Griffith did not speak to the media, and Wilson said the young man and his family want to have just one opportunity to address the situation, likely next week.
Griffith nearly drowned March 17 when he was caught in a riptide during a spring break trip to Florida. Friend Mitch McCune, along with fellow Indiana football players Ty Smith and Nick Stoner, pulled the unconscious 19-year-old to shore, and McCune performed CPR until help arrived.
He spent five days at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, including three in a medically induced coma, before returning home to Fort Wayne.
The excitement surrounding Griffith’s presence at practice Saturday was a sharp contrast to the feeling his teammates had when they heard about the accident.
Senior cornerback Tim Bennett said that because most of the team was gone for spring break, the coaches sent out a mass text message to all the Hoosier players letting them know what had happened.
Now, Bennett’s just happy that Griffith, who he describes as, an all-around good dude, is back with the team.
He’s one of our little brothers, Bennett said. I’m glad he’s back home.