Indiana WR expected back after life-threatening incident
IU football coach Kevin Wilson said Griffith is resting at home in Fort Wayne and is to resume classes next week. Griffith is not expected to return for spring football but might participate in summer workouts and report for fall practice.
“It looks like, in time, he’ll make a complete recovery,” Wilson said. “Not only a normal lifestyle, but I think a normal athletic lifestyle where he can participate and play. I know he wants to get back to normal and play as soon as he can.”
Griffith, 19, was released Sunday from Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Florida. Over spring break, he was caught in a rip current on Siesta Key Beach on March 17, and friend Mitch McCune rescued him. IU players Ty Smith and Nick Stoner were also on the beach, and Smith helped bring Griffith to shore.
Smith and Stoner were not made available to the media when the Hoosiers resumed practice Tuesday. Griffith is still being treated for pneumonia, lung damage and risk of infection from salt water trapped in his lungs, according to the hospital.
Quarterback Nate Sudfeld, a Californian who has been to the beach often, said he has heard stories about the dangers of such undertows.
“It’s kind of surreal when it happens to someone you know and just saw,” he said. “We’re just so thankful. We were all praying really hard. We’re still praying for him that he can come back with us. Coach kept us well-informed through the whole time.”
Coincidentally, Sudfeld had planned to go surfing the morning after Griffith was pulled under.
“When I heard of Isaac, ‘Mom, I’m not going in the water,'” Sudfeld said. “I was just kind of shell-shocked a little bit.”
The initial news of Griffith’s condition was “devastating,” according to wide receiver Shane Wynn. Offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and Wynn said Griffith was having a good spring at a position where the Hoosiers’ fast-tempo offense requires depth.
“He’s definitely a great kid, smiles a lot,” Wynn said. “He didn’t talk much. He’s starting to talk a lot to us now. Just definitely a relief that he’s alive.”
Wilson said he advised Griffith to worry about his studies and not the depth chart. The coach said Griffith need not push to return to training.
“He’s got a little bit of a bump in the road, no different from a guy getting a high ankle sprain,” Wilson said. “It sounds different because it was a major story and very tragic. But we’ve came out of that.”