COLUMBUS -- Legendary Georgia Tech football coach Bobby Dodd called the 1962 Yellow Jackets' offensive line "the greatest in Tech history."
That line helped lead Georgia Tech to a 7-3-1 record, a 7-6 upset of Alabama and a berth in the Bluebonnet Bowl.
The group included center Bobby Caldwell, ends Billy Martin and Ted Davis, guards Dave Watson and Rufus Guthrie and tackles Larry Stallings and Ed Griffin, an undersized former Moultrie High Packer.
Griffin went on to play a season in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams, before serving in the U.S. Army and settling in Columbus, where he has put his bachelor of industrial engineering and master of business administration degrees to good stead as president of Pekor Pumps Inc.
Griffin earned his way to Atlanta with an outstanding career as a two-way tackle for Knuck McCrary's 1955, 1956 and 1957 teams.
His performances as a Packer and Yellow Jacket and his successful business career and community involvement led to his selection to the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame.
Griffin will return to Moultrie, where his mother still lives, to be honored with the rest of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2002 at the induction banquet to be held on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Colquitt County High cafeteria.
The banquet will reunite him with Hall of Famer Tom White, who was Griffin's line coach with the Packers.
"He was a great coach," Griffin said Tuesday. "He prepared me well. He gave me the fundamentals. And I've liked him and admired him ever since."
Griffin was born in Colquitt County, but his family soon moved to Sparks. When he was junior high-age, he moved back to Moultrie.
After practicing with the varsity as a ninth-grader, he moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore and played both ways for three years.
The Packers improved each year he was on the varsity, going 4-6 in 1955, 5-5 in 1956 and finally 7-3 in 1957.
One of Griffin's teammates that year was sophomore offensive lineman Dewey Cobb, who also will be inducted into the Hall of Fame next week.
Griffin has some memorable games during his senior season, including a 19-0 Packers victory over Lanier High that ended the Poets 15-game winning streak. He ran 88 yards with an interception for a touchdown and also blocked a punt in the game.
The Packers lost to Valdosta that year 39-0, but Griffin was credited with 14 tackles against the Wildcats.
Griffin was named All-Region and All-State his senior year and played in the Georgia High School All-Star Game. He also won the Region 1-AAA discus throw that year.
A number of top college football programs were interested in Griffin, who weighed only about 185 pounds while with the Packers.
"But I'd always wanted to go to Georgia Tech," Griffin said. "And I wanted to be an engineer, so when the opportunity presented itself, I took it."
At just 204 pounds, Griffin started at left tackle his junior and senior seasons on a line that featured a number of future National Football League players.
The highlight of his senior season was the 7-6 victory over No. 1 Alabama before 52,971 fans at Grant Field, ending the Crimson Tide's 26-game unbeaten streak. Dodd called the game his greatest victory, and Griffin had a big hand in it.
Tech led 7-0 much of the game, before the Tide scored a touchdown with 5:31 left to play and elected to go for two. But Griffin and Mike McNames tackled Alabama's Jack Hurbut short of the goal line and the Yellow Jackets held on to win.
"I never regretted going to Georgia Tech," Griffin said. "I got to play for Bobby Dodd. That's all I wanted."
After one year with the Rams and with wife and two children, Griffin was ready to get on with his professional career. He served two years in the U.S. Army and then went to work with W.C. Bradley Co. in Columbus. Several years later, he went to work for Pekor Pumps and in 1976 bought the company.
Griffin has been married to the former Shirley Shepard of Moultrie for 42 years and they have three children and four grandchildren.
He has been involved in a n
umber of professional and civic organizations and is on the board of directors of the Columbus Region Health Care System, is chairman of the Board of director of Evergreen Health Plan, is past president of the YMCA and Goodwill Industries.
Griffin also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Georgia Hospital Association in 1997.
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This Week's Circulars
Vera Doris Webb Brown, 88, of Norman Park, died Thursday, July 22, 2021 at Cobblestone Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
Eulalia Frometa Duvergel, 57, of Moultrie, passed away Sunday, July 25, 2021, at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
Floyd Farmer, 65, of Moultrie, died Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at PruittHealth- Magnolia Manor. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
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