Chris Jeffrey-Griggs: Off the beaten the path

The sound of the Danube’s flowing waters and the ringing of the Petrovaradin Clock Tower might be have been taken for granted by locals of the Serbian city of Novi Sad. But for one resident these sounds signaled a chance to continue to do what he loved.

When Chris Jeffrey-Griggs arrived in Novi Sad, Serbia for his first year of European football in 2017, the Washington DC, native was excited to launch his new exciting international career, starting off as quarterback for the Novi Sad Dukes.

“I will be forever grateful to the Novi Sad Dukes organization because without them trusting and believing in me I wouldn’t have been able to continue to pursue my dreams and still be playing today I’m very thankful for the opportunity because without them I probably wouldn’t be on the path I’m on today!”

Jeffrey-Griggs’ athletic play from the quarterback position helped the 2017 Novi Sad Dukes capture the Central European Football League Cup tournament and make it all the way to the Serbian championship game before losing a close game to the Kragujevac Wild Boars 22-16. During the season the young, first time import won the Serbian league MVP award and was named MVP of the CEFL Cup game. Having collected some great film, accolades, and trophies Jeffrey-Griggs joined the Warsaw Eagles for the 2018 season. During his time in Warsaw, he led the Eagles to the national title, wining MVP the PLFA, all while battling a severe ankle injury.

“I’ve always been one who played through injury no matter what so I decided to continue you on and play through my hard injury in which it willed us into a undefeated season. I did it all on one foot!”

Chris Jeffrey Griggs led Poland’s Warsaw Eagles to a PLFA title in 2018

After his impressive 2018 season, Jeffrey-Griggs joined the Rostock Griffins in Germany’s GFL2. During his season with the Griffins, Jeffrey-Griggs was a true dual threat, totally 26 touchdowns with 20 passing six rushing during the 11 game season. Shortly after the season in Germany ended, the ambitious quarterback signed with the Toluca Osos of Mexico’s LFA.

“I already knew due to my college situation and the stereotypes I face playing the position I play. I had to show I was capable playing at a high level against the best whether  it’s being Europe ,XFL,CFl, or Arena. Just being able to showcase the ability of playing at the highest levels possible and Mexico presented that next opportunity by having partnership with the CFL. Their success through the years with the league, gave me the opportunity to play on the biggest stage I’ve been on so far so I saw a chance I couldn’t pass it up!”

Before heading to Europe, Jeffrey-Griggs was a high school quarterback at Friendship Collegiate academy in Washington DC. He grew up surrounded by the game, his father was a college coach at historic Howard University (NCAA D1 FCS). The coach’s son knew how to read a defense as he threw for over 3,500 yards and 37 touchdowns during his high school career.  After being recruited by local NCAA Division 2 program Bowie State, he opted to take the junior college route after being declared academically ineligible. After a short time there, the kid who grew up on the side lines found a way to be around football even if it meant flying to across the world to Novi Sad, Serbia.

“Due to my college situation, I was contemplating if I still wanted to play ball and I started surfing the web one day and came across Europlayers.com made a profile and out of nowhere organizations started to see my profile and gain some interest in me.”

Jeffrey-Griggs’ future football goals are to continue to play, before following his father’s footsteps and becoming a coach. It’s clear he is not done winning:

“I definitely want to win a couple more championships so I can hang it up and start coaching, and maybe one day take over my own organization or be a head coach.”

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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